05:32 GMT +324 May 2018
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    U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hold hands as they walk down the West Wing colonnade past the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018

    Hollande in Trouble Over Quip About Macron's 'Passive' Role in Trump Bromance

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    The friendly display of shoulder-patting, hand-holding and kisses between Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron during the latter's visit to Washington last week took a serious turn over a joke by former President Francois Hollande.

    Hollande's remark, made during his appearance on the Quotidien program on French TV channel TMC Wednesday night, was part of his answer to a question about Macron's behavior during his Washington trip.

    Calling the handshakes and gestures, "strange," Hollande said that "from this point of view, Emmanuel Macron is rather the passive one in the couple." The offhand remark prompted the audience to break out in applause and laughter.

    Not everyone was laughing, however. Macron ally and government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux charged the former president with "a touch of homophobia," adding that this "crude humor" does Hollande "no credit."

    Social media also rushed to attack Hollande, pointing to some of his own awkward moments during his presidency.

    "Who was the passive one here?"

    "A pitiable, inelegant remark unworthy of a former president with respect to @EmmanuelMacron."

    Socialist politician Hubert Vedrine noted that while Hollande has shown off his "talent as a comedian, at least Macron has the merit of trying something with the American president."

    Hollande left office with an approval rating well under 10% following Macron's victory in the 2017 presidential electoin. Macron had served as minister of economy in Hollande's first government between 2012 and 2016 before resigning and announcing his intention to run in the 2017 election as leader of the En Marche! party, a centrist political movement he founded.

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    Tags:
    bromance, Francois Hollande, Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump, United States, France
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