President Trump had some difficulty figuring out a group handshake between world leaders at a publicity event to kick off the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit on Monday.
This year's summit, being held in the Philippines, began with the same handshake that has been seen in years past. But apparently it came with a bit of a learning curve.
At first, Trump assumed it was just a regular handshake, but quickly learned the error of his ways after he realized everyone was crossing their arms before grabbing each other's hands.
President Trump learns the traditional "ASEAN handshake" in Manila https://t.co/Bii9oMfTdC— Jonathan Ernst (@Jonathan Ernst)1510560123.0
It didn't stop Trump from making a variety of faces as he struggled to make the new handshake work.
Nevertheless, he persisted. My take on Trump's bungled ASEAN handshake. https://t.co/Oe9JJwfz0K— Ashley Parker (@Ashley Parker)1510561693.0
Video of the incident made the rounds on Twitter, of course:
Things got a bit awkward as Pres. Trump posed with world leaders for a group handshake at the beginning of the ASEA… https://t.co/A5wKP9V1xw— ABC News (@ABC News)1510548074.0
The awkward handshake joins a long list of handshakes gone awry for President Trump. Most notably, Trump had some uncomfortable handshakes with French President Emannuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in the year, which called into question whether or not Trump actually knows how to shake someone's hand without it being unnecessarily intense or weird.
But if this newest handshake is any indication, the answer is a resounding "no."
Of course, some of the more white-knuckle handshakes have been seen as attempts by Trump to assert power or dominance over a political foe or supposed ally.
Speaking of a supposed "ally," Twitter didn't appreciate the fact that Trump was shaking hands with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been accused of mass murder:
@ABC POTUS... shaking hands with Duterte... who literally ordered the police to summarily execute citizens in the Philippines— Furiosa (@Furiosa)1510548782.0
@tahino1 @ABC He should not have gone to the Philippines with that guy and power.— Penelope Cellucci (@Penelope Cellucci)1510550667.0
@ABC Shaking hands and smiling with yet another murderer.— Yeahokisee (@Yeahokisee)1510549195.0
For some, the handshake feels fairly symbolic:
@AshleyRParker This moment is a metaphor for his whole clueless, awkward, and unhappy so-called presidency. #AseanHandshake— Liz Williams (@Liz Williams)1510589216.0
@AshleyRParker @washingtonpost this is the guy who threatens to punch people yet cannot cross his arms without physical pain #MAGA— Our Wallit (@Our Wallit)1510577295.0
The summit continues through Tuesday, so there will be plenty of opportunities for Trump to have more awkward handshakes with various world leaders.
And when he does, you can bet that cameras will be there to capture it all for the entertainment of social media.
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