Meeting in Washington to discuss trade, immigration and the future state of NATO, Trump welcomed Merkel with a handshake at the entrance of the White House, but once they got to the Oval Office it was game over.
While tradition notes past presidents giving visiting leaders a handshake in the oval office – an important photo-op for politicians – Friday’s meeting between Trump and Merkel didn’t exactly follow the protocol.
“Can we get a handshake?” asked one member of the White House press pool. Though Merkel looked to Trump in a sign that she’d be happy to make the friendly gesture, POTUS didn’t even budge, instead sitting quietly and smiling at the group of journalists. Left in the sticks, Merkel did what anyone would’ve – she flashed a deeply uncomfortable smile to the press.
And to no one’s surprise, the Twittersphere couldn’t let this little incident go unremarked.
— Alt Fed Employee (@Alt_FedEmployee) March 17, 2017
— Ryan Graney (@RyanEGraney) March 17, 2017
— Tante Anni 🤷🏻♀️ (@Tante_Anni) March 17, 2017
While neither politician has been the biggest fan of the other, what with Merkel openly denouncing the controversial travel bans Trump keeps trying to place on Muslim majority countries and Trump calling Germany’s openness to refugees a “catastrophic mistake,” one can only hope the two will make amends and find some middle ground in which to work.