In his latest physical faux pas, 80-year-old Joe Biden grabbed the hand of French President Emmanuel Macron, then firmly held it, shaking, for 42 seconds.
Biden was welcomed to France by Macron earlier today as part of an official state visit, but when it came time to meet Macron, the elderly president awkwardly gripped his French counterpart’s hand then held it, firmly, for 42 seconds. Macron awkwardly stood by the podium throughout the embrace, unable to leave.
Watch the bizarre moment on Spreely.video:
Moments later, Biden either fumbled reading his Teleprompter, or fumbled basic American history.
“My friend and I were talking, France is our oldest ally. Our unwavering partner in freedom’s cause,” said Biden, his voice wavering.
“And the spirit of Marcus du-de Lafayette, who helped the secure the success of our revolution, to the sacrifice of American GI’s who stormed the beaches of Normandy.”
Watch the clip on Spreely.video:
For his part, Macron did not seem to acknowledge Biden’s awkward handshake or failure to properly credit a French hero.
Instead, Macron described France and the United States as “stalwart friends in times of triumph and trial,” according to a translation by Breitbart News, and insinuated that war may be on the horizon due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, telling Biden that “We need to become brothers in arms once more.”
He also noted that both countries are “shaken” by “doubts” regarding whether they should strip free speech in a bid to eradicate “hate speech” and “false information” from society.
The state visit occurs amid a wave of unpopularity for Biden, as Breitbart notes he and his White House infuriated Macron and the French people when it mothballed a deal to buy nuclear submarines from France in favor of Australia.
Earlier this year, Biden attempted to smooth things over with Macron, telling his French counterpart, “I was under the impression that France had been informed long before … honest to God I did not know you had not been.”
This news and commentary by Tom Pappert originally appeared on Valiant news.