Macron says handshake with Trump 'wasn't innocent'

Macron says handshake with Trump 'wasn't innocent'
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French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged to a French newspaper that his intense handshake with President TrumpDonald John TrumpFamily says Trump travel ban preventing mother from seeing dying son Saudi Arabia rejects Senate position on Khashoggi killing Five things to know about the Trump inauguration investigation MORE ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels "wasn't innocent," but instead was meant as a show of resolve, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

"One must show that you won't make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but also not over-publicize things, either," he told Le Journal du Dimanche, according to the AP.

The handshake between Macron and Trump on Thursday drew attention for its visible intensity, with both pairs of knuckles turning white from pressure. 

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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 U.S. president's "capacity to listen."

"I saw a leader with strong opinions on a number of subjects, which I share in part — the fight against terrorism, the willingness to keep our place in the family of nations — and with whom I have disagreements that we spoke about very calmly," he said, the news service reported.

"I saw someone who listens and who is willing to work," Macron added.