Perhaps no hands in history have been covered as extensively as Donald Trump’s.
Thirty years ago, Spy Magazine co-editor Graydon Carter kicked off the extremity coverage when he joked Trump is a “short-fingered vulgarian”—an insult that prompted Trump to send Carter several pictures of himself with his hand circled in gold Sharpee. “See, not so short!” Trump reportedly wrote next to his hands.
The “tiny hands” coverage continued in 2016, when everyone from Marco Rubio to John Oliver taunted Trump’s hands. Trump himself once brought up the issue at a GOP debate. “Are they small hands?” he demanded, holding up his palms to the audience.
As president, the focus on Trump’s hands has morphed from a focus on their size to his wife’s lack of desire to hold them. But in the world of diplomacy, it’s the president’s hyper-alpha handshake—which generally lasts several seconds and often includes a dramatic tug-and-pat at the end—that’s made headlines.
Much has been made of Trump’s handshakes with various leaders, from his refusal to shake German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hand, to his 19-second long grip on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
In February, during his first meeting with the president, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau famously resisted the president’s alpha handshake twice in one day, at one point grasping Trump’s shoulder to stop him from employing his hand-yank move.
And on Thursday, yet another world leader managed to take on Trump’s “death grip.” Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron made headlines when he grasped the president’s hand so tight both their knuckles turned white.
"Je suis très heureux de pouvoir, ensemble, changer beaucoup de choses", dit Macron aux côtés de Trump https://t.co/7rQzMjGxBa— BFMTV (@BFMTV)1495711585.0
And that wasn't the only notable handshake between Trump and Macron.
This is a pretty intense handshake between Macron and Trump https://t.co/nseTdcpXkX— Colin Jones (@Colin Jones)1495726685.0
Macron’s alpha move lit up the Internet—read some of the best responses below:
Pool report poetry on the Macron-Trump handshake https://t.co/veZH9bRG5h— Danny Kemp (@Danny Kemp)1495716016.0
Male politicians' "handshake battles" - they should just get out their cocks and fight like real men.— Zoe Margolis (@Zoe Margolis)1495722796.0
Handshake heard 'round the world.— Alex Wayne (@Alex Wayne)1495718009.0
@PhilipinDC @PhilipRucker Trump's handshake legacy is going to be quite large, unlike his hands— Ari Phillips (@Ari Phillips)1495717431.0
It seems that every world leader has been practicing how to deal with the Trump "I will dominate you" handshake.— Hindley, Doctor Meredith Hindley (@Hindley, Doctor Meredith Hindley)1495717387.0
In 2004’s How to Get Rich: “Some business executives believe in a firm handshake. I believe in no handshake. It is… https://t.co/7b5taPn31K— Michael Kruse (@Michael Kruse)1495716394.0
Trump Just Met His Death-Grip Handshake Match In French President Macron https://t.co/3TqaDtQnE6 via @juliareinstein— Hayes Brown (@Hayes Brown)1495725603.0
Macron did his homework on how to defend yourself against the Trump handshake. #hateshake https://t.co/nixUKfldux— Josh Jordan (@Josh Jordan)1495724792.0
a funny gag for the next head of state who meets Trump would be to wear a fake hand that pops off during the handshake— Jorge Ribas (@Jorge Ribas)1495724756.0
Macron plays the Trump handshake game well. Looks like POTUS wanted to disengage at one point but French president… https://t.co/XzI206CNgg— Jonathan Lemire (@Jonathan Lemire)1495713515.0
Not afraid to admit I'm turned on by Prime Minister Dreamboat & President Heartthrob owning Trump at his own bullsh… https://t.co/4xEWRGe0OT— Cate Hall (@Cate Hall)1495727253.0