7 ‘tremendous’ Trump moments in Brussels – POLITICO

Brussels got its first taste of Donald Trump on Thursday when the American president spent a little more than 24 hours in the Belgian capital for a closely watched diplomatic visit to the city he once branded a “hellhole.”

Here are seven of Trump’s best Brussels moments.

1. A lonely night in Brussels

For his overnight stay, the U.S. President had a choice of three vacant American embassies to sleep in — to Belgium, the EU and NATO — because he has yet to nominate an ambassador for any of them.

But an ambassador was apparently not the only person missing.

2. The other Donald

Trump wasn’t the only Donald in town on a day which began with a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk. Sharing the same first name wasn’t enough for the two leaders to see eye-to-eye.

“I am not sure that we can say 100 percent today that we have a common position, common opinion about Russia,” Tusk said, also citing unresolved questions on trade and climate change.

3. Macron lovin’ 

Trump profusely congratulated Emmanuel Macron, France’s newly-elected president, “who ran an incredible campaign and had a tremendous victory.” The Frenchman was even afforded the privilege of a one-to-one lunch with the U.S. president.

Whether Macron succeeded in convincing Trump to stay committed to the Paris climate agreement between main course and dessert remains to be seen.

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4. Handshake wrestling 

For once, the weird handshake moment was not on Trump. On two separate occasions, the U.S. president tried to free himself from Macron’s grasp but the Frenchman held firm.

 

5. Pre-photo chat

British Prime Minister Theresa May challenged Trump about leaks of the investigation into this week’s terror attack in Manchester as the pair waited for official photos. The prime minister had earlier expressed her outrage about the leaks, which the British government blames on the U.S..

Trump attempted to smooth things over with a statement, describing the leaks as “deeply troubling” shortly before he met the prime minister.

“These leaks have been going on for a long time and my administration will get to the bottom of this,” the statement said. “I am asking the Department of Justice and other relevant agencies to launch a complete review of this matter, and if appropriate, the culprit should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

6. A greeting like no other

A White House official described Trump slapping Dusko Markovic, the prime minister of Montenegro, on the arm as a “casual greeting.”

But there were other interpretations.

7. Making NATO great again

As expected, Trump, pushed NATO members to meet their commitment to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense.

He made himself pretty clear.

“I have been very, very direct with secretary Stoltenberg and members of the alliance in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share and meet their financial obligations, for 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying,” he said, blasting “chronic underpayments” from members.

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Trump’s counterparts did a pretty good job of keeping their cool.

Some eyes in the audience may or may not have rolled. Here’s Macron:

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