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Body politic: Trump puts personal 'touch' on diplomacy with Macron

The public displays of affection between the powerful pair included cheek smooching, hand-holding and even a delicate dandruff dust-off.
Image: U.S. President Trump and French President Macron hold hands as they walk down the colonnade past the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington
Trump and Macron hold hands as they walk down the West Wing.Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Call it the "Art of the Feel."

President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron put their warm bromance on full public display Tuesday, engaging in frequent PDAs at the White House that revealed how friendly they have grown since a tense meeting last spring.

Trump's tenderness Tuesday first revealed itself during an arrival ceremony for Macron, when the powerful pair performed a double cheek kiss — a typical European greeting custom. Moments later, during the ceremony, the two smooched again and carried on a long handshake that clocked in around five seconds.

Later Tuesday, during a brief appearance by the two leaders in front of reporters, the American president gently wiped something — Trump said it was dandruff — off Macron's shoulder.

"We need to make him perfect. He is perfect," Trump said after his delicate dandruff dust-off. Moments earlier, Trump noted the media is "always saying what a great relationship we have."

Image: U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron during an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington
Trump and Macron attend an arrival ceremony at the White House.Joshua Roberts / Reuters

"It is not fake news," the president said of his connection with Macron, whose visit made him the first foreign leader to be welcomed at the Trump White House for an official state visit.

Later in the day, the two awkwardly held hands for a prolonged moment as they walked down the West Wing colonnade to their joint press conference at the White House.

And during the press conference, the two shared yet another warm embrace.

Image: Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron
Trump playfully reaches over to clean lint off Macron's suit jacket during their meeting Tuesday.Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP
Image: President Trump And First Lady Melania Trump Welcome President Macron And Mrs. Macron To The White House
Macron and Trump pat each other on the back.Alex Wong / Getty Images
Macron and Trump at their joint news conference.Ludovic Marin / AFP - Getty Images

As the two men stepped away from their podiums, Macron put his right hand on Trump's back, amiably squeezing and patting his counterpart's right shoulder.

The public affection indicates the two men have come a long way since their encounter last May, on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels, when they engaged in a long, white-knuckled handshake.

Macron made more headlines later that day when he swerved away from Trump and instead hugged German Chancellor Angela Merkel first.