News Trump’s lingering handshake with Macron dominates Bastille Day celebrations

Trump’s lingering handshake with Macron dominates Bastille Day celebrations

Donald Trump Emmanuel Macron Bastille Day
US President Donald Trump maintained an uncomfortably long grip of Emmanuel Macron’s hand during Bastille Day. Photo: Getty
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United States president Donald Trump’s awkward 30-second handshake with French president Emmanuel Macron has outshone even the grandest of military parades in Paris for Bastille Day on Friday.

In yet another uncomfortable display of pleasantries for the US president, Mr Trump maintained a lingering grip on Mr Macron’s hand, periodically patting and tugging as the pair walked together along Champs Élysées after a national parade in the French capital.

Mr Trump then attempted to involve Mr Macron’s wife, French First Lady Brigitte Macron, by grabbing her by the hand and planting a kiss on her cheek as she joined the three-way handshake.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s wife Melania looked on in silence.

Watch the uncomfortable moment below

The leaders’ lengthy display of affection followed a military brass band playing a commemorative song for the victims of the 2016 Nice attacks followed by a medley of songs by French DJ duo Daft Punk.

In a potential display of defiance against terrorism, Mr Macron greeted crowds in an open-top military command car surrounded by hundreds of guards riding on horseback.

Following the Paris celebrations, Mr Macron travelled to Nice, where the usual celebration along the iconic Promenade des Anglais was replaced with a more sombre ceremony on the eastern end of the Quai des Etats-Unis Boulevard.

Fireworks were banned out of respect and instead “Patrouille de France” air team streamed the colours of the French flag into the sky above the beachfront city.

U2 frontman Bono, who was in Nice at the time of last year’s attack, returned to the French city to attend the ceremony with fellow U2 member Adam Clayton.

In Nice, France’s national day was tinged with mourning for the victims of last year’s terror attack. Photo: Getty

The Paris tribute rounded off Mr Trump and wife Melania’s two-day trip to the city as honorary guests of Mr Macron in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I.

Mr Macron pulled out all stops during the Americans’ stay, packing in some Paris sightseeing including a personal tour of the golden-domed Invalides monument, a private dinner in the Eiffel Tower prepared by chef Alain Ducasse and a boat cruise along the Seine for the First Ladies while continuing discussions about the Syria crisis.

Closing the Bastille Day parade, Mr Macron publicly thanked the US for coming to France’s aid during the war, adding, “nothing will ever separate us”.

“The presence at my side of the President of the United States, Mr Donald Trump, and of his wife, is the sign of friendship across the ages,” Mr Macron said.

In reply, Mr Trump said America and France would never be defeated or divided and noted it was a “high honour” to be invited to commemorate France’s most historic day.

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