Justin Trudeau’s first encounter with Donald Trump, in six awkward GIFs

Today, as Justin Trudeau met for the first time with Donald Trump, there were no jovial dad jokes of the sort the prime minister once traded with Barack Obama. That’s not to say the encounter wasn’t cordial, though. Trump and Trudeau sat for a grip-and-grin in the oval office, participated in a meeting with female business leaders, and then held a joint press conference where they both did their best to remain stoic as journalists needled them about their very different stances on trade and border security, mostly to no effect. Here’s the whole day, summarized in six awkward GIFs.

The first handshake of the day exhibited Donald Trump’s favourite handshake strategy: grab and subdue the other person, like some kind of fleshy boa constrictor.


Trump and Trudeau’s next public handshake, in the Oval Office, was milder. Note Trudeau’s textbook posture and his refusal to get drawn into the alpha-male tug-of-war that the president likes to inflict on many of his other visitors:


During their joint press conference later in the afternoon, both men faced straight ahead, for the most part. They briefly locked eyes when Trump took a moment to talk about the “very historic relationship” between Canada and the U.S.


For handshake aficionados, there was another handshake midway through the press conference. This one, too, had no awkward tugging, so maybe President Trump is getting the hang of using his hands to grab other hands. He’s learning on the job!


At one point, Trump seemed ready to end the press conference. Before he could do so, Trudeau called on a French-Canadian journalist, who laid into Trump with a tough question about the future of NAFTA. Here’s Trudeau signalling “just one more question, jeez,” as the president makes some kind of “oh, go ahead” gesture with his whole arm:


Trump and Trudeau, out:



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