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Kisses, fistbumps and snubs: Donald Trump’s G20 blunders

Kisses, fistbumps and snubs: Donald Trump’s G20 blunders
Every time a major summit like the G20 rolls around, the body language experts of the internet clamor to analyze the unspoken interactions between world leaders. Donald Trump certainly gave them material to work with in Osaka.

‘Sit down’

Ahead of a meeting on Friday morning, Trump drew the ire of the Spanish press for seemingly snubbing their recently re-elected prime minister. When Pedro Sanchez leaned in to speak to the American president, Trump pointed at an empty seat, seemingly telling Sanchez to sit down and take his place.

Sanchez mustered a grin and sat down, but the Spanish media were furious. El Pais called the gesture “mocking,” while El Periodico called it “ugly.” Right-wing online news outlet Diario Patriota reported that Trump “humiliated” Sanchez, and chided the socialist PM for following “his orders.” 

Fistbumps all round

Sideline meetings also provided ample opportunity for Trump to break the ice in his unique style. He offered Japanese and Indian prime ministers, Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi, a clenched fist to bump, after the three counterparts seemed confused as to how a three-way handshake should work.

Abe and Modi followed his lead, laughing in return.

A careless whisper

Relations between Trump and French President Emanuel Macron have somewhat soured since last year, when Macron enjoyed a reputation as the ‘Trump whisperer.’ Ahead of a working session on Friday, Macron leaned in to whisper something to Trump, leaving the US leader seemingly unimpressed.

Stealing kisses

A beaming Trump planted two kisses on the cheeks of Juliana Awada, wife of Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, as the G20 leaders posed for a family photo. First Lady Melania Trump was nowhere to be seen.

Trump was also full-lipped in his greeting for French First Lady Brigitte Macron, whom he once described as “in such good shape… beautiful.”

Raising a toast

As the leaders toasted with sake, Trump raised a glass of his signature Diet Coke and seemingly angled for an opportunity to clink glasses with Putin, who sat one chair away.

Trump eventually got his chance, leaning over Abe to toast Putin, before the Japanese PM stood up and took his leave.

As of yet, the toast hasn’t made waves online, but given that the US media has not yet tired of ‘Russiagate’ scandals, expect collusion headlines by the weekend.

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