Trump hates Merkel so much he wouldn’t even give her one of his shitty handshakes
President Trump had his first face-to-face meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on Friday to discuss, among other things, trade and NATO, two areas where the leaders don’t meet eye-to-eye. After they spoke, the two sat down in the Oval Office to pose for the obligatory press pictures, and the tone in the room was… uncomfortable.
Love to watch two friends be casual and have fun pic.twitter.com/R2FmrBm09a
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) March 17, 2017
Photographers: Can we get a handshake?
Merkel (to Trump): Do you want to have a handshake?
Trump: *no response*
Merkel: *makes awkward face* pic.twitter.com/ehgpCnWPg7
— David Mack (@davidmackau) March 17, 2017
Yikes. Trump looks visibly unhappy, like he just got a real talking-to about the importance of trade partnerships from the chancellor and he wasn’t having any of it. Trump likes being president when it is fun and he can act like a big man making important decisions, goddammit, not when he’s getting dressed down by some German broad who is a five or six at best. You can tell he gets even more pissed when she starts speaking to the press in German because he can’t understand what they’re saying and it makes him feel dumb and excluded and like maybe they’re saying mean things about him.
And then reporters in the room call for a handshake — standard fare for these sorts of photo ops — and Merkel, thinking perhaps the president is hard of hearing, leans over to suggest it and he stone-cold blocks her? Yeesh. He doesn’t even turn to face her or acknowledge her existence.
Things weren’t always this sour between Trump and Merkel. Back in 2015, in an interview with Time, Trump called her “probably the greatest leader in the world… she’s fantastic and highly respected.” But just two months later he criticized her actions on immigration. “I always thought Merkel was like this great leader,” he said. “What she’s done in Germany is insane.”
Merkel’s words for Trump have not been as harsh — she’s a fucking adult after all — but her statement congratulating the president after his victory in November threw subtle shade for those who read between the lines. (In Trump’s case, I’m assuming someone had to do that for him.) “Germany and America are bound by common values,” she said. “Democracy, freedom, as well as respect for the rule of law and the dignity of each and every person, regardless of their origin, skin color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or political views.”
There’s also, of course, the fact that Merkel is BFF’s with Trump’s predecessor and “wire-tapping” arch-enemy Barack Obama. That can’t help things. Or maybe it’s just that Trump is a fucking misogynist pig who can’t stand accomplished women in positions of power. Regardless, I don’t think anybody got a good photo out of this one.
“Send a good picture back to Germany, please – make sure,” Pres Trump told press pool during Oval Office photo op with Chancellor Merkel. pic.twitter.com/lkDkftmoWo
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) March 17, 2017
[screen shot: MSNBC]