US President Donald Trump, right, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the slightly awkward photo opportunity. Picture: AFP
US President Donald Trump, right, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the slightly awkward photo opportunity. Picture: AFP

Trump's awkward handshake moment with Canadian PM

PRESIDENT Donald Trump greeted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with a series of firm - and slightly awkward - handshakes during his visit to the White House.

The two leaders greeted each other with a long, slightly uncomfortable-looking handshake when Trudeau arrived in Washington, then they posed silently in front of photographers inside the Oval Office until Trump suggested they shake hands again for the cameras.

"I think they might want a handshake," Trump said to Trudeau, during the exchange.


Meantime, Trump drafted his daughter Ivanka into his first-ever talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as his official inauguration portrait was pulled over a glaring typo.

The US president welcomed Mr Trudeau to the White House on Monday morning for talks on free trade and a round table discussion with female business leaders, including his daughter.


During the meeting, the US leader said the "system is not working so well for entrepreneurs" - particularly for women. Mr Trudeau added that having "women in business is a powerful leverage for success."

As well as attending the meeting, Ivanka Trump helped recruit participants and set the agenda.

The mother-of-three's fashion and accessories line has recently been dropped by a number of US retailers after her father blasted Nordstrom for treating her "unfairly".

Ivanka Trump participates in a roundtable discussion on advancement of women entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House.
Ivanka Trump participates in a roundtable discussion on advancement of women entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House.

Following the round table, Mr Trump and Mr Trudeau delivered a joint press conference where they reinforced the importance of the US-Canada alliance and their "profound shared economic interests".

Mr Trump said: "We have a very outstanding trade relationship with Canada. We will be tweaking it. We will be doing certain things that are going to benefit both of our countries."

For his part, Mr Trudeau said the two nations - who with Mexico make up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - "will always remain each other's most essential partner."

Throughout his campaign and since his November election, Mr Trump has voiced his determination to put "America first" and rip up NAFTA, which he has said is a "catastrophe" for American jobs.

The agreement is very important for Canada - more than 75 per cent of its exports go to the US.

The two North American leaders, who have markedly different world views, were asked about immigration and national security.

The liberal Trudeau champions free trade and has welcomed 40,000 Syrian refugees. Mr Trump has taken a protectionist stance on trade and wants to crack down on the inflow of migrants and refugees.

When asked about how they will go forward with such differing views, Mr Trudeau said it was not his place to "lecture" different countries, but only serve as an example to other leaders.


However he vowed his country would continue to welcome refugees, even as Mr Trump defended his efforts to bar refugees from US soil as "common sense."

"Canada has always understood that keeping Canadians safe is one of the fundamental responsibilities of any government," Mr Trudeau said.

"At the same time, we continue to pursue our policies of openness towards refugees without compromising security."

Mr Trump meanwhile defended his controversial move to close US borders to refugees and citizens of seven mostly-Muslim nations, saying "we cannot let the wrong people in" and that his policy had been "praised".

He added: "It is a stance of common sense. And we are going to pursue it vigorously."

When Mr Trudeau answered questions in French, Mr Trump put on his translation device. The US president came under fire for failing to wear the earpiece when Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, delivered remarks at the White House on Friday


The Library of Congress yanked Mr Trump's official inauguration portrait from its online store over a glaring typo on the souvenir print.

The poster includes Mr Trump's quote, "No dream is too big, no challenge is to (sic) great. Nothing we want for the future is beyond our reach." "To" is misspelled in the first sentence.

The Library of Congress described the print as capturing "the essence of Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency of the United States."

Twitter users quickly spotted the error over the weekend and the item was removed. An archived version of the listing is accessible through the Internet Archive website.

The Library of Congress didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

It's at least the third high-profile spelling error from the government of late. The Education Department misspelled the name of W.E.B. DuBois on Twitter on Sunday and mistyped again when apologising for the error.

The Kremlin says there is talk of a possible meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Mr Trump taking place before a G20 summit in July, but there was nothing specific to report so far.

The two men have never met, but both have said they want to try to mend battered US-Russia ties, which fell to their lowest level since the Cold War after Moscow's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.


Embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn's fate as one of President Trump's senior aides is uncertain following reports that he discussed US sanctions with a Russian envoy before the inauguration.

A top White House official sidestepped repeated chances on Sunday to publicly defend him. The president has yet to comment on General Flynn's status but reportedly told associates he is troubled by the situation.

Vice President Mike Pence also hasn't commented. He previously denied that General Flynn had discussed sanctions with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US.

General Flynn was a loyal Trump supporter during the campaign, but he is viewed sceptically by some in the administration's national security circles, in part because of his ties to Russia.

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that General Flynn addressed sanctions against Russia in a call with Mr Kislyak. The report contradicted repeated denials from Trump officials.

General Flynn has since told administration officials that sanctions may have come up in the calls, which coincided with the Obama administration slapping penalties on Russia for election-related hacking. It's illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy.


White House Counsellor Kellyanne Conway has responded to sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live after actress Kate McKinnon portrayed her as bunny-boiling film villain, Alex Forrest.

"Inquiring minds re: #SNL: @jaketapper & I spoke this morning just before brunch time. No boiling bunnies on the menu," she tweeted.

The "boiling bunnies" remark references 1987 movie Fatal Attraction, in which Glenn Close's character puts a pet bunny in a pot of boiling water to scare her lover.


Mr Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly worked on a response to North Korea's weekend missile test at a public table in a crowded dining room at the US president's Florida club.

CNN reports Mr Trump found out about the launch during dinner at the Mar-a-Lago, with advisers to both leaders called over to join in a strategy discussion.

The network added that aides used mobile phone camera lights to illuminate documents brought to the table.

Guests posted a series of pictures and comments on Facebook describing the surprise meeting, although many of the photos were later deleted.

"HOLY MOLY !! It was fascinating to watch the flurry of activity at dinner when the news came that North Korea had launched a missile in the direction of Japan," Facebook user Richard DeAgazio posted on Sunday afternoon.

News Corp Australia

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