President Donald Trump has a weird way of shaking hands. His herky-jerky grappling style sometimes makes it look like he’s fighting with the other person, and maybe even trying to rip their arm out of its socket. But Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared prepared for an uncomfortable greeting when he visited the White House on Monday.
A video of Trump welcoming Trudeau shows the prime minister quickly grasping the president’s shoulder with his left arm, seemingly bracing for a potential pull. Trudeau then brings the handshake close and toward his center, cutting off Trump’s leverage and ensuring that his shoulder remains intact.
The whole affair still seemed forceful and perhaps even aggressive, at least by Canadian standards. But it lacked the awkwardness of a number of recent Trump handshakes.
Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at the White House last week, and apparently thought this was the proper way to shake a guest’s hand:
And here’s Trump congratulating Neil Gorsuch, his Supreme Court nominee, after announcing his selection last month.
If you’re gonna shake hands with Trump, take a cue from Trudeau and come prepared to play defense.