The video, captured by news outlets at the NATO conference on Thursday, quickly went viral.
Macron told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that the handshake was "a moment of truth." A very long, intense moment of truth.
"My handshake with him, it wasn't innocent," Macron admitted. "One must show that you won't make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but also not over-publicize things, either." Even news outlets couldn't help but notice the intensity of the handshake, with The Washington Post noting:
"They shook hands for an extended period of time. Each president gripped the other's hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening."
The New York Times had a similar observation, saying:
"When Mr. Trump greeted Emmanuel Macron, France's new president, they grabbed each other's hands, jaws clenched, in an extended grip that turned Mr. Trump's knuckles white."