Donald Trump’s handshake is the stuff of legend—but not necessarily the good kind. In fact, as observed throughout the president’s first trip abroad (as well as his prior meetings with heads of state), Trump’s handshake—unlike his policies—has resonated with one clear message across the globe: As one psychologist put it, “I’m the alpha.”
“It goes down to asserting dominance,” University of Illinois associate psychology professor Florin Dolcos told the Huffington Post. “Why he wants to do that? I don’t know. It looks, to me, like he is trying too hard.”
“It looks ridiculous,” Dolcos added.
Trump’s bizarre hands-on experience at the NATO summit made headlines this week when he met his “death-grip match” with newly-elected French president Emmanuel Macron. Macron later told reporters his handshake with Trump “wasn’t innocent.”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 28, 2017
Hours later, Trump tried to reestablish dominance, reaching out to Belgium’s King Philippe as Macron walked toward the group. According to Dolcos, that was a strategic move intended to intimidate Macron.
“That’s a signal Trump was sending: ‘This is where you should come first because I’m the alpha here,’” Dolcos said. “‘Initiated with the other guy.’”
“It’s an intimidation tactic. There are self-preservation strategies and intimidation is one of the main ones,” Frank Bernieri, an associate professor in the psychology department at Oregon State University told the Huffington Post.
Bernieri, who’s written extensively about handshakes, added Trump’s use of intimidation tactics “are perfectly consistent with Trump.”
“He pretty much says that’s what I do to make a deal,” Bernieri said.
Sam Nurnberg, an ex-Trump aide, told the Huffington Post the president is jus “very cognizant of the optics of what it looks like at these multilateral meetings with world leaders.:
“I even think it’s is symbolic to the America First theme of his presidency and campaign,” Nurnberg added.
Ivanka Trump wants to be the ‘first female president’ — but there’s one major obstacle
Ivanka Trump is harboring political ambitions after she leaves the White House after her father's election loss.
It's not clear where President Donald Trump's eldest daughter will live, along with her husband and fellow White House adviser Jared Kushner, but their former friends, colleagues and associates believe Ivanka Trump will try to build up her influence in the Republican Party, reported the Washington Post.
“I think she’d want to be the [first] female president,” said Marissa Velez Kraxberger, a film producer who worked for Ivanka for two years at her now-defunct company. “I don’t think she’s actually ever had any interest in fashion but everything was an angle to gain more power in whatever possible way.”
GOP senator knows Trump lost but thinks it would be ‘political suicide’ to admit it: report
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is still spouting conspiracy theories about the election being "stolen" from President Donald Trump -- but according to one former Wisconsin Republican official, Johnson understands that Trump lost.
Mark Becker, the former Chairman of the Brown County Republican Party, writes at The Bulwark that he had a conversation with Johnson after the election in which the senator acknowledged Trump's defeat.
However, Johnson said that he was loath to admit it publicly because of the strong support the president had received from Wisconsin GOP voters, despite the fact that the president narrowly lost the state this year.
‘Dumbest senator ever’: Morning Joe mocks Republican Ron Johnson
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough mocked Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) for demanding proof of something that doesn't exist.
Attorney General William Barr announced the Department of Justice had found no evidence of voter fraud, as President Donald Trump has claimed, and Johnson called on Barr to "show everybody" the proof that the election had not been stolen.
"The man Guinness Book of World Records has called the dumbest senator to ever be sworn in in this constitutional republic," Scarborough said. "I'm speaking, of course, of Ron Johnson, who said that William Barr must show his evidence that he has no evidence."