The handshake of U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin during the G20 meeting showed who has the dominant hand in U.S.-Russia relations.
President Trump and his Russian counterpart Putin reached Syria deal during their G20 summit meeting. President Trump met with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg on Friday. The two world leaders sat down to discuss Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election and ending violence in Syria.
Trump and Putin reached a Syria deal to curb violence in the war-torn country, as revealed by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressing reporters after the meeting. The historic meeting between the two presidents lasted for more than two hours, though they were expected to meet for only 30 to 40 minutes on the first day of the G20 summit.
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As the attention of hundreds of reporters was glued to the Trump-Putin meeting, there was a fair share of speculation in the media about the two world leaders’ body language during the summit. The body language of Trump and Putin is coming under increased scrutiny, with people trying to find the hidden meaning in their behaviors.
A Lot of Patting from Trump, A Dominating, Upper Hand from Putin
Reporters noted that there was a lot of patting from Trump’s side and a dominating, upper hand handshake from Putin. As the two world leaders sat down for a bilateral behind-the-closed-doors meeting, Trump and Putin briefly addressed G20 media reporters in the room.
During the sit-down, the U.S. President extended his hand with his palm facing upwards, giving Putin the freedom to shake his hand with a dominating, upper hand. Even bizarrely, Trump extended his hand in this manner twice in less than two minutes. Body language experts interpret this type of handshake as giving the upper-hand to the other party.
In the particular case of Trump-Putin meeting, Trump was the one who initiated the lower-hand handshake, suggesting that he was himself willing to let the Russian President dominate the conversation.
Trump Gets His Revenge After Bizarre Handshake with French President Macron
Trump is no stranger to having his handshakes with world leaders analyzed by the media, as the U.S. President shared an abnormally prolonged handshake with French President Emmanuel Macron in May. From the looks of it, it was Macron who refused to let go of Trump’s hand to prolong the handshake.
On Friday, Trump seemingly got his revenge by using a ‘bro clasp’ to greet his French counterpart. In what is seen in the video captured by reporters, the U.S. President is seen clasping Macron’s hand and seemingly pulling the French President toward himself, showing his own strength. Macron, who reportedly weighs nearly 100 pounds less than the U.S. President (161 lbs. vs 236 lbs., according to the media’s estimations), was easily pulled by Trump to his side.
Trump and Putin Exchange Multiple Handshakes During G20
Before their sit-down for a bilateral meeting at the G20, Trump and Putin briefly met in what seemed to be a collegial encounter. Although it’s unclear if the U.S. President and his Russian counterpart were aware that they were recorded, the two world leaders shook hands with sheer enthusiasms and smiled. The video was originally posted by the German government.
Right before the video cuts away, the U.S. President is seen patting Putin on the back, while the duo stand side-by-side, smiling. During their collegial encounter, the U.S. President and his Russian counterpart exchanged a standard handshake that symbolizes that the two parties are on equal grounds – though Trump did pat Putin on his elbow during the handshake.
Putin Vehemently Denies Meddling in U.S. Election by Russia
The meeting between Trump and Putin was expected to be more tense, as the two presidents exchanged bitter remarks about one another in the lead-up to the G20. The day before the summit, the U.S. President was in Poland, where he criticized Russia’s use of energy as its force as well as took a swipe at the Russian government for its alleged military actions in Eastern Ukraine.
The Russian President did not leave Trump’s needling unnoticed, and slammed his American counterpart for his trade policies during the G20 summit, according to various reports in the Russian media.
The two parties, however, are reportedly confident that the Trump-Putin meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit was quite productive, as the two world leaders reached an agreement on the brutal Syrian war. Quite unexpectedly for the media, Trump even brought up the widely-discussed topic of Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to the U.S. Secretary of State. The Russian President vehemently denied being involved in the alleged interference, as told by Tillerson in a post-meeting press briefing.
The discussion of Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election on the sidelines of the G20 summit comes amid a report released earlier this year, in which U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Moscow was responsible for an “influence campaign” to attack Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the election, and it allegedly helped Trump become the U.S. President.
Trump and Putin Reach a Syria Deal
Tillerson also revealed that the tone of Trump-Putin indicated that the two world leaders wanted to move past Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. election and agreed that the issue has become an obstacle to improved U.S.-Russia relations.
The Secretary of State also told reporters that the ceasefire was a “defined agreement” and could lay out the groundwork for further cooperation on Syria between the two nations.
“This is our first indication of the US and Russia being able to work together in Syria,” Tillerson said, adding that Trump and Putin had a “lengthy discussion of other areas in Syria where we can work together.” According to the Secretary of State, Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. election became the first topic the two leaders discussed, as Trump opened their meeting by “raising the concerns of the American people regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
Putin, for his part, told media reporters before the meeting that he was “delighted” to finally meet the U.S. President face-to-face.