12:52 GMT +315 November 2019
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    President Donald Trump shakes hands with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, as they participate in a news conference at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019

    Twitter Afire With ‘Jim From The Office’ Moment of Finnish President During Meeting With Trump

    © AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster
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    The timing of President of Finland Sauli Niinistö’s trip to Washington to meet his US counterpart could hardly be worse, as the media focus was more on the impeachment inquiry against his host over a whistleblower’s complaint about Trump allegedly abusing power.

    President of Finland Sauli Niinistö’s reaction to Donald Trump’s touching him during their joint press appearance in the Oval Office has triggered a storm on Twitter, as many suggested that this European head of state looked like he wished to be anywhere else but there at the time.

    The US president patted his Finnish counterpart on the leg as a journalist asked about Finland being the happiest country in the world and what he could learn from it. However, Niinistö reached his hand out as if he had wanted to stop Trump from getting too frisky. While Trump called Niinistö a “happy leader”, the Finnish guest’s body language signalled that he did not seen so happy at all, as many commenters suggested.

    ​The Finnish president’s expression also prompted some to suggest that the relations between the two leaders might be complicated and that talking to Trump seemed like a traumatic experience for Niinistö.

    ​Some joked that the Finnish president's reaction resembled a scene from the TV series The Office.

    ​Although Niinistö’s state marked the 100-year anniversary of US-Finland friendship, it was the impeachment inquiry the journalists at the joint press conference seemed more concerned about, bombarding Trump with questions about allegations.

    As bad luck would have it, their meeting came on the day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Schiff announcing a news conference on the impeachment proceedings launched by the House Democrats last week. Trump also went on the Twitter offensive against the Democrats on the day of the meeting, accusing them of “trying to undo the Election regardless of facts”.

    The impeachment inquiry was initiated after an anonymous whistleblower, thought to be from CIA's ranks, raised an alarm alleging that Trump had abused his power in a 25 July conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky. The US president is said to have "pressured" his Ukrainian counterpart into initiating an investigation into former US Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s dealings in the Eastern European country.

    Trump repeatedly refuted the accusations against him and labelled the impeachment probe a “hoax” and a “coup” which he claimed is aimed to “take away the power of the people” and destroy the Republican Party.


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    Sauli Niinisto, impeachment, Nancy Pelosi, Donald Trump, Finland, US
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