Trump’s NATO Visit Marked by Stiff Handshakes along with Uncomfortable ‘Family Photos’
BRUSSELS — As President Trump prepared to leave the NATO summit meeting in his disgruntled wake, the story of his visit could be told from the tight smiles, stiff handshakes along with averted gazes he exchanged with the people who are supposed to be some of his closest European allies.
With few leaders willing to publicly push back against Mr. Trump’s aggressive haggling over military spending, observers were left to study his body language, as well as of which of his allies along with aides. At times, attempts to decipher the mood of the president along with additional heads of state felt akin to studying a very sophisticated along with multilingual high school cafeteria.
For starters, there appeared to be cliques, that has a grimacing Mr. Trump often on the outs. As leaders prepared for a so-called (along with perhaps dysfunctional) family photo, Mr. Trump’s contemporaries walked ahead along with chatted together while the president hung back with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president.
During a group photo shoot, leaders seemed to glance at Mr. Trump out of the corners of their eyes, if they looked at him at all. The coverage of the icy-appearing exchanges caught the attention of at least two high-profile White House aides, who were quick to declare the analysis “fake news.”
“Fake News Media outlets FAIL to mention the photo of President @realDonaldTrump looking up toward the sky with others,” Dan Scavino, the president’s social media director, wrote on Twitter, “is usually of which of an impressive flyover of helicopters coming from 13 Alied Nations as seen here off the reflection of the @NATO building. Way to go FAKE NEWS!”
Mr. Scavino’s criticism was also shared by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary. On Thursday, the White House had no immediate comment on the photogenic qualities of the president’s relationships.
Aside coming from awkward group photographs, there was the usual handshake analysis of Mr. Trump’s greeting with allies, including President Emmanuel Macron of France. Last month, Mr. Macron gripped the president’s hand so tightly of which he left a thumbprint.
(The verdict of which time? Firm, as usual.)
Mr. Trump’s tendency to be Great-natured in front of his allies yet aggressive behind their backs added an element of chaos along with confusion when leaders went before the cameras.
While seated in front of the news media, the president gave a cheery readout of his discussion with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, whose country he’d eviscerated hours earlier at a breakfast she hadn’t attended. Seated next to him, the German chancellor did not echo the president’s cheery comments about their “very, very Great relationship.”
from the glare of the spotlight, even the president’s aides fell under a microscope. John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, looked particularly pained during a breakfast at which Mr. Trump said Germany was “captive” to Russia. For months, rumors about Mr. Kelly’s frustrations with his job have feverishly circulated through Washington. (Vanity Fair added to them just two days ago.)
According to one senior White House official, who described private conversations only on the condition of anonymity, rumors of Mr. Kelly’s demise are exaggerated. Mr. Kelly has so far outlasted constant speculation about his ouster because he is usually able to intervene in staffing dramas along with to face an often frustrated president, the official said.
yet at NATO, Mr. Trump’s gruff interactions with allies on Wednesday underscored the degree to which Mr. Kelly lacks influence over how the president behaves. When of which came to the video of Mr. Kelly’s tight-lipped expressions, the White House told The Washington Post of which there was no veiled frustration to decipher: The retired general was simply disappointed from the breakfast offerings.
As the summit meeting progressed, additional leaders grew more pointed about Mr. Trump’s habit of reversing course along with pulling out sharp elbows after charming his contemporaries in person.
“Trump was in a Great mood,” Xavier Bettel, the prime minister of Luxembourg, told reporters about the president’s behavior at a NATO dinner. “He said Europe is usually a continent he appreciates, along with which has to develop its military spending further.”
“yet,” the prime minister added, “he has Wi-Fi on the plane, so we will have to see.”