How it shook out
It’s clear Canadians were watching Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump’s first official meeting intently Monday morning, but who had the upper hand?
Trump, fast becoming the poster boy for awkward handshakes after an agonizing 19-second handshake with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is said to be self-conscious about how his hands are perceived.
Trudeau stepped out of his motorcade at the White House and immediately shook Trump’s hand. This was to his benefit, according to Mark Bowden, an expert in human behaviour and body language who created the company Truthplane, a communication training company.
Trudeau and Trump were in close quarters, meaning the president couldn’t pull the prime minister in, Bowden said.
“I think Trudeau for sure held his own,” Bowden said.
But Trump wasn’t done. He placed his hand on top of Trudeau’s shoulder, another show of dominance. Trudeau responded in turn, placing his hand on Trump’s arm.
Later, while seated, they shook hands again. “What’s interesting is Trump actually offers Trudeau the upper hand,” Bowden said.
U.S. President Donald Trump extends his hand to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday in Washington, D.C.