Emmanuel Macron and others have noted that US president’s handshake is a claim to superiority, and are fighting him in kind

They say the handshake originated as a gesture designed to prove that both participants were unarmed. But Donald Trump has rewritten that rule along with all the others. In the hands of the US president, the handshake is a weapon.

And now, thanks to the newly elected president of France, we have confirmation that the rest of the world’s leaders are fighting back. Emmanuel Macron’s admission that his white-knuckle clinch with Trump – in which the two men appeared to be engaged in a squeezing duel that saw the US president break off first – was “not innocent” is hardly a surprise. His thinking was plain to see, as he crushed Trump’s hand until the latter’s fingers seemed to quiver for mercy.

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