President Trump is in Brussels, Belgium for the NATO summit. Tensions are high as the world leaders meet to discuss the alliance. The optics of these global meetings are largely the focus of international attention. This morning, Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May had an awkward encounter.
President Trump leaned in to shake May’s hand. May dodged his handshake, swerving away from him. She introduced him to her new Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt instead. Body language expert Judi James told MailOnline that May and Trump have been trying hard to look close, but that their relationship remains awkward and uncomfortable.
She said, “They actually stood closer together than I have ever seen them before – even when he grabbed her hand outside the White House. But May is putting in an industrial strength effort here. When they stand together she turns his torso towards his, she joins in the laughter towards him. It is something Margaret Thatcher used to do – it is almost a coquettish look. She is looking very playful with him. But the problem with Trump is when he leans in with that rigid smile and puts his thumbs up, it is like he is posing with a fan. It is not the genuine bonhomie you would get with someone like French President Emmanuel Macron. She concluded, “They are putting a lot of effort into sending out the signals of togetherness.”
‘But I think sat in a room alone, they would probably be sat in two different corners staring at the floor.’
The summit comes on the heels of the president’s disastrous behavior last month at the G7 summit in Canada. Before the official start of the NATO summit, Trump joined other leaders for breakfast. As cameras rolled and the table sat in front of glasses of orange juice, Trump went on a tirade.
Trump’s breakfast tirade took particular aim at Germany. The president claimed that Germany is “totally controlled by Russia.” He said that Germany is “a captive of Russia” because of a natural gas pipeline between the two countries.
Trump also railed against NATO allies who he claimed are “delinquent” in supporting NATO financially. Of course, that is a mischaracterization of the alliance. The United States does not pay into NATO and neither do other member nations. Instead, all nations agreed to dedicate 2% of their individual GDP for defense spending in their own nation. The countries are expected to accomplish this measure by 2028.