His wife won’t let him get handsy (or even hold hands) with her, so Donald Trump is all over Emmanuel Macron — grooming him much like a gorilla would, says a top body language expert. Just when you thought it couldn't get worse.
Donald invited Macron and his wife Brigitte over for the first state dinner to honor the French President, and he began getting touchy-feely as soon as the duo arrived. He gushed about the bond between the United States and France, saying, “May our friendship grow even deeper, may our kinship grow even stronger and may our sacred liberty never die.” Then he announced to the world Macron had dandruff.
What is going on with the hands on visit?
Body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, Patti Wood, says it’s “gamesmanship,” and equates Donald’s brushing of Macron’s dandruff to gorillas grooming each other in the wild. (Do gorillas eat cheeseburgers in bed?)
“He did something called primate grooming,” Wood tells Personal Space. “He’s saying to him, ‘We have an intimate relationship, but I’m dominant, I’m the alpha gorilla...Trump likes playing the game, he likes gamesmanship, he likes to feel like he’s playing with a powerful team member."
As the alpha gorilla, he’s more or less telling the French president, hey, “I’m going to groom you now,” Wood says, adding that what he really wanted to see was how Emmanuel would handle the aggressive move in front of cameras.
“In fact, I’ll get that little piece of dandruff off,” Trump said to him in front of reporters, wiping at Macron’s suit. “We have to make him perfect. He is perfect.”
So is this a bromance, or a game of gorilla play to see who the dominant male is? Seems like gorilla play, as the two haven’t stopped touching and picking at each other since Macron landed. In fact, they seem to enjoy it.
Over the course of a day, we’ve seen Macron slap Trump’s back, squeeze his right shoulder like a lemon, double-cheek kiss him, walk step-in-step with him, and smile at him longingly. They've draped their arms over each other’s shoulders, sat facing each other eagerly, and delicately touched each other’s arms and outstretched hands while they walked and talked. No word on if anyone spoon fed the Carolina Gold Rice Jambalaya to the other during the dinner. Or if they split just a taste of the Nectarine Tart dessert. "Emmanuel, you've got to try this Buttermilk Biscuit Crumble, it's To. Die. For." "Only if you admit climate change is real, you silly goose."
“I like him a lot,” Trump told reporters (for real.) But is this The Bachelor or a significant meeting about pressing world affairs?
Great, Donald made a friend. That's new. But still, he should really stop grooming other world leaders. Some may not be as polite as Macron, or Macaron, which Trump probably calls him behind his back.
Etiquette expert Diane Gottsman tells us the grooming is rude.
“You should not put your hands on another person’s body without permission unless you have birthed them," she says.
“It’s best to discreetly let them know they have a ‘situation’ they should attend to,” she laughs. “If it’s your child, you may have a little more leverage but even then, unless it’s absolutely necessary, it’s best to keep your hands to yourself. Never touch another adult, especially a boss, client, pastor, or your mother-in-law!”
Hey, maybe he’s just trying to get affection where he can — it’s not like his wife wants to touch him.
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