Donald Trump's Awkward Knee-patting Doesn't Seem to Go Down Well With Finnish President Sauli Niinisto

Footage of President Donald Trump patting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto's knee has gone viral after Niinisto appeared to bat the commander-in-chief's hand away.

Not unusually for Trump—whose strange handshakes and knee touches with world leaders often make for extremely awkward viewing—his attempt to give Niinistö a pat on the leg did not go smoothly.

The pair were seated in the Oval Office for a press conference when President Trump declared "Finland is a happy country!" and patted leader Niinisto, who said nothing but appeared to swat Trump's hand away.

Trump didn't appear to be deterred by the brush-off however, answering a question about what he could learn from Finland by replying: "Well, if you get rid of Pelosi and you get rid of Shifty Schiff... Finland is a happy country, he's a happy leader too," gesturing to Niinisto and smiling.

The gesture, unsurprisingly, was widely shared on social media, with Twitter users posting and commenting on the video.

The awkward encounter between the pair was not the only thing to trend following a meeting between the leaders.

Social media widely discussed President Trump's so-called meltdown after he slammed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He has lambasted the pair on social media on numerous occasions since Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into the president over the Ukraine whistleblower allegations, which claim Trump asked a foreign leader to investigate a potential political rival.

"There are those that think I'm a very stable genius, okay?" Trump said at the press conference. "I watch my words very, very closely. And to have somebody get up, and to totally fabricate a conversation that I had with another leader, and make it sound so bad. It was so evil."

Niinisto is by no means the first world leader to have had an awkward moment with Trump; the president's handshake with Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo seeing Trump grasp the leader's hand for some time before giving it several pats (the story made news around the world as well as appearing on the setlist of several late-night comedians immediately afterward), while he and former British Prime Minister Theresa May appeared to be holding hands rather than shaking them on several occasions.

Indeed, the awkward moments with Trump extend beyond world leaders—on more than one occasion the president and the first lady have managed to make holding hands look difficult, with Trump last year grabbing his wife's coat rather than her palm.

Donald Trump's Awkward Knee-patting Doesn't Seem to Go Down Well With Finnish President Sauli Niinisto | Politics
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