Emmanuel Macron says Bone-crushing Donald Trump Handshake was 'Not Innocent'

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U.S. President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron before a working lunch ahead of a NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Dejong/Pool

France’s new president Emmanuel Macron described a white knuckle handshake in which he refused to relinquish his grip on U.S. president Donald Trump’s hand as “not innocent.”

In an interview with the Journal du Dimanche Sunday, the French leader said his interaction with the American head of state was “a moment of truth.”

“My handshake with him was not innocent. We need to show that we won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones, while not overhyping things either,” Macron said.

He went on to compare Trump’s attitude to power with that of authoritarian strongmen President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

“Donald Trump, the Turkish president or the Russian president believe in the logic of the trial of strength, which doesn’t bother me. I don’t believe in the diplomacy of public invective, but in my bilateral dialogues, I don’t let anything pass, that is how we are respected,” he said.

The leaders met in Brussels on Thursday ahead of a Nato summit, during Trump’s first foreign trip as president.

Since assuming office, Trump’s forceful handshake has been widely remarked on. He forcefully yanked the hand of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and pulled him towards him at a meeting in the White House in February. But Canadian leader Justin Trudeau prevented this by grabbing Trump’s shoulder as the two shook hands when they met later that month.