The morning of President Donald Trump’s first meeting — or second, or third, depending on which Trump quote you subscribe to — with Russian ruler Vladimir Putin, TV news pundits hyperventilated about potential presidential body language.
They made much of Friday morning’s official G20 group photo shoot, for which the two men stood at opposite ends of the front row. The First Handshake also got deconstructed:
“He gave him the shake and the under-pat!” CNN’s Chris Cuomo reported, of Trump’s first move:
Trump, meanwhile, kicked off his day with Twitter:
MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough responded to Trump’s tweets, imagining German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron huddling to discuss why Podesta “did not give up his risotto recipe.”
Trump’s tweets showed that, even when he is on the most important diplomatic stage, “he’s still is a small, small figure on Twitter,” Scarborough said, calling it a “bizarre tweak as a way to start the G20.”
Over on CNN, meanwhile, counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd said Trump going to G20 and airing dirty domestic laundry is like a guy going to a dinner party and shouting, “My wife is fat!”
“Everybody looks around the table and it’s like, ‘Who invited that guy?!'” Mudd joked.
Also the subject of much debate among TV news talking heads on Friday morning: whether Trump will bring up Russia’s meddling in the presidential election when the two men meet. On his way to G20, Trump had stopped in Poland — the Fox & Friends of Europe, explains Mediaite — to take a presser question as to whether he believes Russia was behind the election tamper.
“I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement,” POTUS answered. “Nobody really knows.”