Trump Appears to Shove NATO Leader to Get to Front of Group

Donald Trump fashions himself an alpha male. So after newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron dominated Trump in a battle of handshakes Thursday morning in Brussels, the U.S. president apparently felt the need to reassert himself. Behold:

Did Trump just shove another NATO leader to be in the front of the group?

— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) May 25, 2017

Closely related to Trump's alpha-ness is the value he places on showmanship, and he wasn't going to be buried in a sea of foreign suits when it came time for a photo op. As NATO leaders congregated, Trump forcefully slapped a hand on the shoulder of Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, pushed him aside, and barreled his way through to the front of the group. Satisfied, Trump raised his chin, adjusted his jacket and surveyed the crowd before him. He didn't appear to have offered even as much as an "excuse me" to Markovic.

Trump, Russia news making Americans nervous, poll finds

The shove is one of several body language-related viral moments to emerge from Trump's first visit overseas as president. While in Israel, the first lady appeared to slap her husband away when he reached out to hold her hand. She again appeared to avoid holding his hand as they disembarked from Air Force One in Rome. Then, on Thursday, Trump's neglected hand appeared helpless in the dominating grasp of Marcon as the two world leaders posed for a photo. Trump has a long history of aggressive handshakes, and the strength displayed by Marcon likely came as a surprise to the president.

Best thing about this is not the handshake itself but Macron acting like it's totally normal 👋🏼

— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) May 25, 2017

Aside from shoving Markovic, Trump has spent his time in Brussels criticizing NATO allies for not spending enough on defense, saying that it is "not fair" to America.

"I have been very, very direct with Secretary (Jens) Stoltenberg and members of the alliance in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations," Trump said. "But 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying, and what they're supposed to be paying for their defense.

"This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States, and many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years, and not paying in those past years," he continued.

Trump also failed to endorse NATO's agreement that an attack on one of its member nations signifies an attack on all of them. Declining to do so is significant as Trump has threatened to remove the United States from the alliance, which was formed in 1949.