French president Emmanuel Macron was clearly very moved to meet and embrace Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) on the streets of Washington, D.C. yesterday.
“President Trump is expected to invite French President Emmanuel Macron to Washington for an official state visit later this year, the first of his presidency,” CNN reports.
“While a date for the visit has not yet been officially set and the White House has not made an announcement, sources say that could come as soon as this week, while Trump attends the World Economic Forum in Davos.”
“President Donald Trump’s saga of awkward handshakes continues,” CNN reports.
“On Friday, right before he left France, Trump said goodbye to France’s President Emmanuel Macron, with the two grabbing and holding hands for a long, long handshake. The entire handshake lasted about 25 seconds.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said that the country was ready to embark on a “radically new path” after presidential and parliamentary elections swept him and his new centrist party into power, AFP reports.
“The 39-year-old French leader, elected in May, laid out a series of proposals including a new law that will reduce the number of lawmakers in both houses of parliament by one third. He also proposed that the electoral system be changed to allow more proportional representation ‘so that all tendencies are fairly represented (in parliament).'”
“The centrist party of French President Emmanuel Macron looks set to win a landslide victory in the second round of parliamentary elections on Sunday,” the BBC reports.
“A party needs 289 seats to control the 577-seat National Assembly. LREM is predicted to win more than 400. Mr Macron won the presidential election last month and he is now hoping to secure a solid majority to help push through his planned reforms for the country.”
“He formed his party just over a year ago, and half of its candidates have little or no political experience.”
Washington Post: “Macron rose from relative obscurity to score a landslide victory in the presidential election in May, becoming the first winning candidate in decades to come from neither the traditional center-right nor center-left parties. But now, something even more momentous is happening: Macron is leading a total overhaul of an ossified political system.”
French president Emmanuel Macron said his now-famous white-knuckle handshake showdown with Donald Trump was “a moment of truth” designed to show that he’s no pushover, the Guardian reports.
Said Macron: “My handshake with him, it wasn’t innocent. One must show that you won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but also not over-publicize things, either.”
“At their first meeting, ahead of a Nato summit in Brussels on Thursday, the two men locked hands for so long that knuckles started turning white. The French leader held the shake for a few seconds more. Both men’s jaws seemed to clench.”
President Trump told Emmanuel Macron that he had been his favorite to win the French presidential election and media reports that he was backing far-right leader Marine Le Pen were wrong, Reuters reports.
Said Trump: “You were my guy.”
“Trump told Macron that, contrary to media reports during the race, he had not backed Le Pen and had followed Macron’s campaign with great attention, the source said, adding that the two leaders had spoken in English.”
Flashback: Trump says Le Pen is strongest candidate.
“Newly-inaugurated French President Emmanuel Macron appointed a conservative prime minister in a move to broaden his political appeal and weaken his opponents before legislative elections in June,” Reuters reports.
“It is the first time in modern French political history that a president has appointed a prime minister from outside his camp without being forced to by a defeat in parliamentary elections. Macron’s presidential win itself was a seismic shift in a political landscape dominated for decades by the two main left-wing and right-wing parties.”
“Emmanuel Macron, a youthful former investment banker with little political experience, was well ahead in France’s presidential election on Sunday, suggesting that his call for a new centrist approach to politics would handily defeat the staunch nationalism of his far-right opponent, Marine Le Pen, according to projections based on preliminary results,” the New York Times reports.
Exit polls showed Macron winning by as much as 30 percentage points over Le Pen.
Politico: “The stronger-than-expected victory of Macron is a stunning achievement for this novice to electoral politics, at 39 the youngest president in the history of France’s Fifth Republic. And it is the third consecutive setback for European populist parties who preached a mix of Trump-like nationalism and protectionism to voters fed up with conventional politics.”
“Those who say that Marine Le Pen cannot get past the second round are the same as those who said that Trump could never win.”
— French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, in an interview with Le Monde.