Macron says Trump handshake was 'moment of truth'

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While Macron reportedly sought to convey strength with the handshake, he spoke fondly of Trump on Saturday after a Group of Seven summit in Italy, praising the US president's "capacity to listen".

Marine Le Pen, French National Front (FN) political party candidate for French 2017 presidential election, concedes defeat at the Chalet du Lac in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris after the second round of 2017 French presidential election, France, May 7, 2017.

During a working lunch in Brussels ahead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, President Trump made it clear to Macron he would not announce a decision on the Paris climate agreement prior to the G7, this official told CNN.

TRUMP to Macron at a lunch meeting in Brussels, according to the French official: "You were my guy" in the French campaign.

"Many of these nations owe massive amounts of money from past years", Trump said yesterday in Brussels.

Trump's aversion to hand-shaking seemed to lessen over the course of the USA presidential campaign. "We had a long discussion, which was very frank", Macron told reporters in Brussels.

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"Donald Trump, the Turkish president or the Russian president see things in terms of power relationships, which doesn't bother me", he said.

During the meeting of European Nato members, Trump delivered a blunt message that they must spend more on defence to meet the threat from terrorism. France spent about 1.8% of its GDP on defence in 2016, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation figures.

When asked about President Trump's personality, Macron said: "It's not for me to make any physiologic comments".

Stunned US President then tries to reclaim lost ground with crushing handshake.

"They shook hands for an extended period of time. Each president gripped the other's hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening".

Macron's determination may be a lesson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who on a recent visit to the Oval Office tried and failed to get Trump to shake her hand.