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The Most Awkward Moments So Far From Trump’s State Visit With Emmanuel Macron

Trump and Macron Meeting: The Most Awkward Moments

President Trump is never more visibly pained than when he has to convey to the world that he’s comfortable in his own skin. The president’s discomfort with pretending to be a warm, convivial host has never been more apparent than when he hosted French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron at the White House this week.

Trump is most at ease when he’s focusing on the thing he loves most in this world: himself. When he has to pretend to be interested in other people — like his wife, school shooting victims, allied heads of state, or children who aren’t Ivanka — is when things go off the rails. Take for example, this moment in the Oval Office where Trump was trying to project an air of casual camaraderie and affection between the two world leaders by brushing what was likely imaginary dandruff off of Macron’s shoulder in front of the photo spray. You know, that common joke between dudes where one guy tells a crowd of people that the other’s scalp is flaking off all over his lapel. Classic bit.

“We have to make him perfect,” Trump said to the press pool while Macron laughed off the bizarre gesture. “He is perfect.”

Trump likes making huge displays of touching Macron. I get it, the French president is a handsome as far as world leaders go. Here’s a curious instance of Trump grabbing Macron’s hand and leading him back into the White House with the same kind of force and intensity with which I’d grab a friend and drag her over to the ballpit at Chuck E. Cheese when I was a kid.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Trump really enjoys touching Macron. He enjoys, touching, patting, tugging on his arm, doing that alpha “I’m hugging you, but I’m hitting you” back pat, and kissing Macron. He also enjoys telling the press how much he likes Macron after giving the French president the equivalent of a full TSA frisk in front of photographers.

The first lady, on the other hand, is considerably less receptive her husband’s advances. Consider this moment in the Rose Garden where Trump makes a persistent effort to get Melania to finally take his hand. After tapping his wife’s hand repeatedly with his index finger, he finally fashions his pinky into a little hook and grabs hold of Melania’s hand until she finally relents. She doesn’t look particularly stoked about the public display of affection, but she’s being generous considering how the recent news cycle was dominated by stories about her husband allegedly maybe paying Russian sex workers to pee on each other in a Moscow hotel suite.

As this footage of shows, Melania’s hat choice was strategic in that the comically wide brim blocks her husband from making actual contact when going in for the cheek kiss. Brigitte Macron wasn’t so lucky.

Although Trump wants to impress his buddy Macron, he still manages to lose his chill in front of his guest, like when ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl asks Trump if he’s going to pardon his devoted fixer Michael Cohen should the president’s consigliere actually catch a conviction following a recent FBI raid.

“Stupid question,” Trump snipes while Macron sits next to him making exaggerated “this guy! right?” faces.

The Macrons’ state visit doesn’t end till Wednesday, so there’s still plenty of time for Trump to make his guests, and everyone around them, uncomfortable.