Behold Trump's Handshakes In All Their Awkward Glory

by Kelly Tunney
Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images News/Getty Images

President Donald Trump may not be the most consistent politician, but America can certainly rely on him for executing a clumsy handshake. It's become a familiar pattern; no matter where he goes or who he meets, Trump's awkward handshakes are sure to make headlines.

For someone who has called himself a germaphobe, he sure does give awfully long and bizarre handshakes. According to the Washington Post, Trump even called shaking hands "barbaric" once. To be fair, that was before he was elected president and handshakes became an essential part of his job.

Trump has revealed to us a variety of handshake techniques he favors, the most common being the grab and pull. With this technique, Trump grips his acquaintance's hand, then forcibly pulls the person closer to him in an awkward yank. Basically, the handshake is horizontal rather than vertical.

In other situations, Trump seems to have missed the memo about handshakes altogether. Well, either that or he is intentionally ignoring those wanting a handshake. It's difficult to tell the difference. Regardless, it is uncomfortable for both the other person and anyone else who may be watching.

Behold, Trump's most awkward, entertaining handshakes.

The "Man Grip" With Emmanuel Macron

On Thursday, Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron met for the first time. In a reversal of expectations, Macron seemed to anticipate Trump's technique, and once they join hands, Macron doesn't let go. Trump appears to try to exit the handshake twice, but he's at Macron's mercy until he finally lets go. Could the tense and prolonged shake be a hint of their future relationship?

Emmanuel Macron, Part Deux

Not to be outdone, Trump seemed to retaliate against Macron for their earlier handshake during the NATO summit. Perhaps Trump was caught off-guard at their initial handshake and prepared for this encounter. Regardless, he deployed the pull-in, and it was as strange as it usually is.

Benjamin Netanyahu Wants One As Well

In another instance of Trump ignoring a handshake, he gets up to leave after meeting with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, but is called back to get a handshake.

Trump "Alpha-ed" Mike Pence

Not even Vice President Mike Pence is immune to Trump's strange handshakes. Before his trip overseas, Trump was caught giving Pence an awkward shake where he use the pull-in technique.

Mike Pence, The Original Handshake

Trump has actually awkwardly given Pence a handshake not once but twice, and there's video documentation to prove it. This handshake took place on election night, no less. It may have been Pence's first in a long line of awkward handshakes with his new boss.

Leaving Angela Merkel Hanging

Trump really flipped the script on the handshake with this encounter. As he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it seemed that Trump ignored her offer of a handshake.

Poor Neil Gorsuch

Trump had the honor of introducing Neil Gorsuch as his first nominee for the Supreme Court. And Gorsuch had the honor of engaging in a very awkward handshake with Trump on national TV.

Abe Shinzo's Side-Eye

Trump may have set a record for longest handshake ever completed with Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. The handshake between Trump and Shinzo lasted an excruciating 19 seconds, and you can actually see how relieved Shinzo is when it ends, much like anyone watching.

Rex Tillerson At His Mercy

When Rex Tillerson was sworn in as Secretary of State, Trump once again used the grab and pull handshake method. Fast-forward to about 2:25 on the video to see the magic happen.

Can't Outsmart Justin Trudeau, Though

Technically, in this case, Trump's manner of handshaking wasn't the initial problem. As Trump held out his hand for a shake, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau simply looked at it with a face that says "Nah." Trudeau did quickly agree to a shake with Trump, but luckily the cameras caught the moment before, when nothing was guaranteed.

Bill Rancic, A Classic

An oldie but a goody of Trump shaking hands with Bill Rancic on the first season of The Apprentice. Is this where it all began? Probably not, but it's fun to know that Trump has been doing this weird handshake since at least 2004, if not longer.

Will Trump ever learn how to shake someone's hand properly? Does he even want to, at 70 years old? We may never know, but it will be entertaining to watch him try.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to meet Bustle's editorial standards.