US President Donald Trump’s push to make his way to the front of the pack at a NATO summit has generated indignation, but the man he shoved aside — who happened to be Montenegro’s Prime Minister — took it in his stride.
Mr Trump placed his right hand on Montenegro Prime Minister Duško Markovic’s arm, abruptly pushing him aside to position himself front-and-centre among a group of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) leaders as they prepared for a group photograph inside the alliance’s new headquarters.
Mr Trump recovered quickly from the awkward “shove”, adjusting his jacket before interrupting the conversing world leaders, speaking to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.
Mr Trump appeared to have been talking to Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán before the now infamous “shove”, who can be seen smiling at the US President until he stands directly in front of him, excluding Mr Orbán from the group’s conversation.
The video of the incident has since gone viral online in multiple languages, with some sharing the footage as a slow-motion GIF to better capture the “shove”.
Watch the moment Trump shoves the Montenegro PM
Montenegro newspaper Vijesti reported: “It seems Donald Trump did not want anyone to overshadow his presence at the summit.”
Other European websites ran comical, tongue-in-cheek headlines including America First and Where do you think you are going?
But Mr Markovic, Montenegro’s leader who was pushed out of the way, took the high ground, dismissing claims that Mr Trump’s behaviour was insulting.
Rather, he thanked the US President for his support for Montenegro’s membership in NATO.
He shrugged off the slight as “harmless”.
“It didn’t really register,” Mr Markovic told reporters after the summit.
“I just saw reactions about it on social networks. It is simply a harmless situation.
“It is natural that the President of the United States is in the front row.”
The former Yugoslav republic is pegged to become NATO’s 29th member next month.
When the line is out the door at Chipotle. https://t.co/aGG21a3Nwj
— Erin Sorensen (@erinsorensen) May 25, 2017
Can you imagine going to summer camp with Trump? https://t.co/njo6flPyGZ
— ᴅᴇʀᴇᴋ ᴍᴇᴀᴅ (@derektmead) May 25, 2017
Mr Trump’s controversial actions come a day after he implored NATO to “stop terrorism in its tracks” following the Manchester attack and scolded member nations for – in his view – not meeting their funding obligations.
“Twenty-three of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying for their defence,” Mr Trump said, standing by a piece of the wreckage of the Twin Towers at the NATO summit in Brussels.
“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.”
He said the Manchester bombing revealed the need for the military alliance to focus on “terrorism and immigration” in addition to threats from Russia.
“We must be tough. We must be strong. And we must be vigilant,” Mr Trump told the summit.
“It (the Manchester bombing) was a barbaric and vicious attack upon our civilisation. All people who cherish life must unite in finding, exposing and removing these killers and extremists and, yes, losers. They are losers.”