Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin's bromance just reached new heights.
The two leaders stared deep into each other's eyes as they shared a long, intimate handshake amid the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam while wearing matching outfits. It's tradition for world leaders to wear traditional garb for the "family photo" at the APEC summit.
The APEC photo op is a chagrin-producing annual rite that has snared many a U.S. president.
Prior to this epic shaking of hands, there were reports Trump and Putin might meet on the sidelines of the summit to discuss an array of issues, including recent heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear program. But the White House has ruled out a formal meeting between the two world leaders, citing scheduling conflicts, BuzzFeed News reports.
"Now, [Trump and Putin are] going to be in the same place," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Friday. "Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely. But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there's not one on the calendar and we don't anticipate that there will be one."
If Trump and Putin had set a formal meeting it could've proved politically costly given the ongoing controversy surrounding the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. But this does not necessarily rule out an informal meeting.
Despite the scrutiny surrounding Trump and Putin's relationship, there are many matters they have the potential to collaborate on beyond North Korea. The U.S. and Russia are both key players in the Syria conflict, for example, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson believes the Kremlin will play a crucial part in bringing an end to the hostilities there. The U.S. also has ongoing concerns over Russian aggression in Ukraine and the continued violence in the eastern part of the country.
Trump began the APEC summit with a speech echoing his "America First" philosophy. "We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore," Trump said. "I am always going to put America first, the same way I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first."