Classless: MSNBC’s Wallace Suggests Trump Touches Macron More Than Melania

With French President Emmanuel Macron in Washington, D.C. for an official state visit, the liberal media were eager to pounce on any seemingly awkward “bromance” moments he and President Trump shared. And since Macron’s arrival, the two world leaders have exchanged seemingly countless handshakes and shoulder grabs (including Trump joking about brushing dandruff off Macron’s shoulder).

Of course, former Republican Nicolle Wallace used her MSNBC show Deadline: White House on Tuesday to take a classless shot at the President’s marriage.

Wallace eased into maligning Trump’s marriage by first drawing attention to the body language on display between Trump and Macron. “If there's any love lost between President Trump and President Macron, you can't tell from their body language,” she noted before playing a series of clips of their physical interactions.

After the nearly one-minute-long video played, she turned to Washington Post White House Bureau Chief and MSNBC political analyst Philip Rucker for his take. “Well, it was interesting to watch all of that today. There's clearly a relationship that's developed between Trump and Macron,” he began before Wallace interrupted with her swipe at the President’s marriage (to the roaring laughter of the rest of the panel):

WALLACE: What kind of relationship?!

RUCKER: I don't know, but we do not see that with Merkel, who’s going to be--

WALLACE: We don't see that with Melania. I've not seen him touch Melania that many times.

 

 

This crude, below-the-belt shot by Wallace came after she kicked off the segment by lambasting Trump for acting in an undignified manner around his guest.

It should come as no surprise that Trump's first state visit from the French president and first lady has become a minefield of bizarre interactions and breaches decorum,” she hypocritically declared. She then suggested that people should listen to manic Washington Post columnist and faux Republican Jennifer Rubin and institute a Presidential code of ethics.

Seemingly playing off of Wallace’s introduction, Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire quipped about Trump’s “cringe-inducing” moments and slammed the President for not knowing how to act with dignity. “He has no decorum and so, no sense of what he should or shouldn't say in that room,” he chided.

Former Obama-era State Department Under Secretary and former TIME editor Rick Stengel took issue with Rucker describing the Presidents as having “chemistry” together and argued that Macron was only playing Trump. “By the way, I completely dispute the idea that there's any chemistry between these guys,” he bitterly spat. “He is cringing every time President Trump touches him.

He then warned that Macron’s popularity back home was going down “five percent” every time he touched Trump. If Stengel’s hyperbolic declaration were accurate, Macron would have lost, at least, 125 percentage points in the polls judging by the video Wallace played.

The relevant portion of the transcript is below, click "expand" to read: 

 

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MSNBC's Deadline: White House
April 24, 2018
4:23:19 PM Eastern

NICOLLE WALLACE: For a president whose only consistent behavior is his tendency to violate norms, it should come as no surprise that Trump's first state visit from the French president and first lady has become a minefield of bizarre interactions and breaches decorum. Enough so, that Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post believes we may finally need a presidential etiquette guide. And based on today’s events alone, we have some rules we could suggest, like – I can’t actually believe I’m reading this -- do not brush dandruff off the French president.

(…)

WALLACE: If there's any love lost between President Trump and President Macron, you can't tell from their body language.

(…)

WALLACE: Phil, Robert, Jonathan, Eddie, and Rick are still here. Phil Rucker, take the floor.

PHIL RUCKER: Well, it was interesting to watch all of that today. There's clearly a relationship that's developed between Trump and Macron. We’ve haven’t seen that--

WALLACE: What kind of relationship?!

RUCKER: I don't know, but we do not see that with Merkel, who’s going to be--

WALLACE: We don't see that with Melania.

[Laughter]

WALLACE: I've not seen him touch Melania that many times.

RUCKER: It all dates back to about a year ago when Trump did his first foreign visit. I was in the room in Brussels when he first met Macron. And Macron got the better of him in that handshake. It was a white-knuckled handshake. And I didn’t know this relationship would go this direction. It clearly has and theirs a chemistry there. And Trump seemed to revel in the opportunity to show off the White House and Mount Vernon, and the rest of Washington to the French president.

JONATHAN LEMIRE: If Eddie and I tried to do those handshakes, we'd be in the hospital, I think. But with Trump, it is—Phil’s right to bring up the handshake because there is certainly some affection between these two men, obviously. But I think with Donald Trump – I think the dandruff moment, in particular, is-- as cringe-inducing as that was—

WALLACE: Let me just say, there's no way he had any dandruff!

LEMIRE: I think it's unlikely. As cringe-inducing as that was, for Trump it's, sort of, on three things. It’s the idea of like he is a perfectionist in terms of appearances. I think, number two, he has no decorum and so, no sense of what he should or shouldn't say in that room. But three, it's a bit of a power play. “Look, I'm in charge, I'm cleaning you up, I have a little hand on you right now.”

RICK STENGEL: By the way, I completely dispute the idea that there's any chemistry between these guys. It is Macron realizing that the way to get to Trump's heart is to ingratiate yourself. To make it seem like you have a bromance and a buddy relationship. He is cringing every time President Trump touches him. And every time President Trump touches him, his ratings – popularity in France goes down five percent. So, this is a dangerous thing for him to.

EDDIE GLAUDE: Tracking the bromance, we're not paying attention to where macron has failed with regards to Trump.

(…)


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NBDaily Foreign Policy Europe France Cable Television MSNBC Deadline: White House Video Rick Stengel Philip Rucker Jonathan Lemire Donald Trump Emmanuel Macron Nicolle Wallace