It would take more than the world press to push President Donald Trump around.
When Trump finally met German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday in the White House after a snow delay earlier this week, photographers hoping for a money shot of the two vastly different leaders exchanging a warm handshake got a cold shoulder instead from the American president.
And even a request from Merkel seemed to fall on deaf ears — literally.
The moment came when photographers covering the meeting started loudly asking for a posed handshake between one leader who built his presidential campaign on reining in immigration, and another who’s badly damaged her own country by welcoming a flood of immigrants from the Muslim world.
It didn’t go well. Watch it here:
Much of the world media coverage took the angle that Trump had deliberately snubbed Merkel’s request for a handshake, and that’s possible. Certainly the two have enough political disagreements over topics like immigration that they aren’t personally on the best of terms.
What’s just as likely though, is that in the din of the media, he might well not have heard her.
Regardless, what’s undeniable is that the gathered photographers were loud and clear in their brazen demands for a posed moment of comity between the two leaders, and that’s clearly where Trump drew the line.
Considering the president is known for his handshakes (his meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kept the anti-Trump media buzzing about it for days), he’s clearly not shy about the contact.
But it’s contact on his own terms.
A meeting between an American president and a foreign leader — particularly one from a country as important as Germany — is not a wedding reception where belligerent guests can demand occasional public displays of affection from the principals.
Trump might have a background as a showman, but he ignored the calls for a handshake in a way his celebrity-obsessed predecessor never would have.
The American presidency isn’t a prop — and Trump just showed the world press he won’t let them try to make it one.
H/T USA Today
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