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Macron Says Trump Handshake Was 'Moment of Truth'

 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press
Image: President Donald Trump shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron in Brussels
President Donald Trump shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the U.S. Embassy, Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Brussels.Peter Dejong / AP

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PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron says his now famous white-knuckle handshake showdown with U.S. counterpart Donald Trump was "a moment of truth" — designed to show that he's no pushover.

Macron told a Sunday newspaper in France that "my handshake with him, it wasn't innocent. It is not the alpha and the omega of a policy but a moment of truth."

Macron added: "One must show that you won't make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but also not over-publicize things, either."

Related: Trump Pushes Montenegro’s Prime Minister at NATO Summit

Macron's office confirmed to The Associated Press the veracity of the president's comments in Le Journal du Dimanche.

At their first meeting, ahead of a NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday, the two men locked hands for so long that knuckles started turning white. The French leader held the shake for a few seconds more. Both men's jaws seemed to clench.

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