Thursday 21 September 2017

Donald Trump’s infamous handshake may have just met its match

This is definitely one way to get around an awkward handshake with the US President.

(Alex Brandon/AP)
(Alex Brandon/AP)

By Kameron Virk

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have found a way to combat the infamous Donald Trump handshake – with one of his own signature bear hugs.

Trump has had a string of seemingly awkward encounters with world leaders and US politicians, most notably when he shook Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s hand for 19 seconds, and many were watching to see what would happen with Modi.

The Indian leader is well known for his bear hugging tactic, and seemed to take Trump by surprise mid-handshake during their meeting.

Many people had been expecting Modi to bring the hug out – he’d done so with leaders from Barack Obama to Vladimir Putin – and so were delighted when he did.

Some even thought the hug was deployed strategically to avoid being yanked towards Trump, as he often likes to do when shaking hands.

— Rob McDonagh (@RobMcD) June 26, 2017

— G (@Gunjan_jsh) June 27, 2017

— Tom Gara (@tomgara) June 26, 2017

Modi managed to get three whole hugs in on the day – one during their joint statements, another after wrapping up his own remarks, and a final one as he departed the White House.

As a self-confessed germaphobe, it’s unclear how Trump would have felt about all this – but after witnessing what happened to Prince William’s hand after his meeting with Modi, maybe a hug was the better option.

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(Dominic Lipinski/PA)
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(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Trump described it as an “honour” to meet Modi, and said the relationship between the US and India had “never been better”.

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