Trumps handholding stunt explained as Theresa May lifts lid on first meeting
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Donald Trump was trying to be a “gentleman” when he held onto Theresa May’s hand to keep her from slipping down a slope, the former British Prime Minister said.
It was 2017 when May became the first world leader to meet with the newly-inaugurate Trump at the White House.
The pair were spotted walking around the iconic round porch at the front of the executive mansion. All of a sudden, they held hands and Trump didn’t let go until they reached the end of a slight slope leading back inside.
May revealed she was puzzled by his gesture, admitted she still doesn’t know what pushed him to do it – but suggested he likely just wanted to ensure she didn’t fall.
She said: “I have no idea why he did it. I mean, he sort of said, ‘Oh, there’s a slope so you need to be careful on the slope.’
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“Now whether this is because Melania always wears very high heels or not, I don’t know. I had heeled shoes on but they weren’t high heels.
“I thought, ‘I’m capable of walking down a slope, thank you very much,’ and the next thing I know he’s holding my hand.”
May continued: “The best interpretation is he’s being a gentleman. But subsequently, a lot of people said maybe he needed the support going down the slope.
“I don’t know. He just grabbed my hand and I thought he would then let go of it, but he didn’t.”
But the gesture everyone believed to have been a one-off was once again repeated the following year during Trump’s visit to the country home of Prime Ministers, Chequers.
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Rather than a slope, the pair were walking down a short flight of stairs – Trump holding on until they reached the designated location for a joint press conference.
Trump’s relationship with May before her departure from office in 2019 was tepid at best, with the former president calling her “foolish” at the height of an ambassadorial dispute.
He later doubled down by praising the man who would become her successor, Boris Johnson.
And when asked about Trump’s conduct following the 2020 presidential election, May’s tone turned much more sombre.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, she said the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 served as a “wake-up call for us all”.
May added: “If you look over the years since the Second World War, there was a sense that liberal democracy was going to be sweeping the world, almost, and it was there and it was embedded and we could take it for granted.
“I think what happened at Capitol Hill showed that we can’t take it for granted.”
Trump has repeatedly downplayed his role in inciting his supporters into storming into Congress during the vote to certify Joe Biden’s victory over him.
He has also accused Special Counsel Jack Smith, who indicted him earlier this month in relation to the attack, and the Department of Justice of conducting a “witch hunt” aimed at undermining his efforts to be reelected.
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