The first family played host to France's leading couple Tuesday, complete with a welcome ceremony in the morning and a state dinner to round out the evening. But it was during a joint news conference for White House press that things got a bit bizarre. A video of Trump & French President Emmanuel Macron quickly made the rounds online because people were too weirded out by their interaction.
Trump was describing how "special" he and Macron's friendship is, when he apparently noticed something on Macron's shoulder, saying:
It's a great honor that you're here. We do have a very special relationship. In fact, I'll get that little piece of dandruff off. A little piece.
Trump flicked at the shoulder of Macron's suit, getting the alleged piece dandruff off, before continuing to rave about the French president. "We have to make him perfect. He is perfect," Trump said. "So it is really great to be with you, and you are a special friend."
Macron seemed quite comfortable with the interaction and seemed to agree they do have a good friendship. He smiled at Trump, laughed, and thanked the president for the warm welcome, even leaning over at one point to tap Trump on the leg.
People were torn on what was the weirdest part of the moment. Was it the fact that one world leader pointed out another's dandruff in a public event specifically meant to be a photo and video opportunity? Or was it the way Trump talked about the need to make Macron perfect, before adding that, well, he already is?
For those in the former camp, flicking scalp skin flakes off of someone in a public situation just isn't cool, especially if you have such a special relationship. "Friends don't wipe dandruff off of friends in public," one person wrote on Twitter.
Some people claimed it was a power move by Trump meant to humiliate Macron by telling the world he has dandruff (something no one needs to feel humiliated by, by the way). "As payback for the dandruff thing Macron should reach over and adjust/pat one side of Trump’s hair and say 'your bouffant was a little off-center!'" one woman suggested.
Other people couldn't stop their disbelief over Trump calling Macron "perfect," pointing out that particular statement over the dandruff removal itself. Most people didn't even bother to provide commentary; they simply tweeted out the quote, as if it were ridiculous enough on its own.
But, "No, this isn't an SNL skit," someone added.
Others compared the situation as an evolution of Trump's awkward and domineering handshakes, which took the world by storm essentially every time he met a new country's leader.
"2017 power move: Dominate foreign leader with outrageous public handshake," Toronto Star's Washington correspondent Daniel Dale tweeted. "2018 power move: Publicly comment on foreign leader's possibly imaginary dandruff, wipe it off his shoulder."
In fact... speaking of handshakes, the dandruff moment wasn't the only weird interaction people noticed between Trump and Macron.
In typical Trump fashion, when Trump and Macron shook hands at a joint press conference, what started as a normal handshake turned into an awkward hug and finished with a air kiss to the cheek.
Why are Trump's handshakes (and apparently now, other interactions) with foreign leaders so weird? Twitter has long had theories — to prove he's the strongest, to make Americans laugh, to show off his not-small hands, to purposely be mean — but the fact of the matter is, we might never know.
For now, just know that Trump and Macron have a "special relationship" that the president thinks enables him to brush the dandruff off Macron's shoulders.