News World Trump tells French First Lady she’s ‘in such good shape’

Trump tells French First Lady she’s ‘in such good shape’

Trumo meets macron in paris
Madame Macron gets a quick once-over and an unwanted compliment from President Trump. Photo: AAP
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Another Donald Trump foreign visit and another awkward handshake – but it was the US President’s exchange with French First Lady Brigitte Macron which has got the world talking.

In video on the French presidential Facebook account, Mr Trump and Ms Macron extend their hands to one another, fumbling to make contact, before they embrace for a traditional kiss on each cheek.

They then ungracefully hold hands, for what seems to be an uncomfortably long time.

But it was a later interaction that got tongues wagging at the high-level meeting in Paris, almost overshadowing what appeared to be early signs of Mr Trump again rethinking his attitude to the Paris Accord.
As Mr Trump, Mr Macron and their wives toured the museums at Les Invalides, the US President turned to the French First Lady and said:  “You’re in such good shape.”

He repeated the observation to the French president before turning back to the French first lady, and remarking: “Beautiful.”

Watch CNN’s report of the greeting

Ms Macron was her husband’s former high school teacher and their relationship has drawn international attention because of their age difference – Ms Macron is 64, while her husband is 39.

The comments have been denounced in some circles as sexist, noting that the Macrons’ age difference is similar to that of Donald and Melania Trump.

Trump Macron meeting
The pair has been seen as having a difficult chemistry. Photo: AAP

Trump hints at change of heart on Paris Accord

More substantively, Mr Trump appeared to be holding the door open to a reversal of his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord, but did not say what he would need in return to persuade him to do so.

Mr Trump, who has made few friends in Europe with his rejection of the 2015 Paris agreement and his “America First” trade stance, met Mr Macron in Paris on Thursday as both leaders sought common ground to reset an awkward relationship.

“Something could happen with respect to the Paris accords, let’s see what happens,” Mr Trump told a news conference. “If it happens, that will be wonderful, and if it doesn’t, that’ll be OK too.”

Mr Trump has said the Paris accord is soft on leading polluters like China and India, putting US industry at risk.

“There is no sudden and unexpected change today, otherwise we would have announced it, but there is the shared intention to continue discussing these issues,” the French president added.

Mr Trump and Mr Macron’s relationship got off to a bumpy start, but both have an incentive to improve relations – Mr Macron hopes to elevate France’s role in global affairs, and Mr Trump, seemingly isolated among world leaders, needs a friend overseas.

The nature of their greeting was so highly anticipated because of the long, white-knuckled handshake between the two leaders in Brussels in May in which Mr Macron held on firmly and appeared to try and pull Mr Trump’s towards him.

“My handshake with him, it’s not innocent,” Mr Macron said some days later. “It’s not the alpha and the omega of politics, but a moment of truth.”

A day after that, Mr Macron performed a body swerve away from Mr Trump as he approached a group of leaders, and instead picked out German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mr Trump’s handshakes have become closely observed moments in his diplomatic interactions. When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the White House early this year, their handshake lasted for an uncomfortable 20 seconds, with Mr Abe appearing to try and break off several times.

And during his March meeting with Ms Merkel, Mr Trump appeared to refuse to shake her hand despite the pleas of media onlookers.

With AAP

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