WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) — For a few moments, it almost seemed as if they wouldn’t let go.
However, before last week’s meeting in Paris between President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, even America’s commander-in-chief wasn’t sure if the two leaders could see eye to eye.
“The Paris Accord,” President Trump reminded reporters for The New York Times in an interview on Wednesday. “I wasn’t going to get along with France for a little while, because people forget, because it is a very unfair agreement to us.”
In Brussels a few months ago, the two shared a handshake that turned into a tense showdown.
But the city of love can soften even the hardest of hearts, they say. In Paris, Trump and Macron appeared to bond before the world’s eyes.
“He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand,” said Trump. “People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes.”
Macron had invited President Trump to celebrate France’s independence holiday.
“He called me and said, ‘I’d love to have you there and honor you in France,’ having to do with Bastille Day. Plus, it’s the 100th year of the First World War. That’s big. And I said yes,” Trump added. “I have a great relationship with him. He’s a great guy.”
France and the U.S. have clashed on major issues like climate change. President Trump has been outspoken in the past about the Paris Climate Accord, a worldwide agreement to fight climate change, and pulled the U.S out of the deal. Syria and Nicaragua are the only other countries on the planet to opt out.
Trump quipped that day that he was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.
But that was then. And Trump, the modern populist leader, does seem like he can be won over with flattery and bromance.
Macron is confident that his calculated “charm offensive” could help change Trump’s mind on the things they disagree on. It may have already worked.
“I mean, really, he’s a very good person and a tough guy. But look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France,” Trump said. “But he does love holding my hand.”