Trump, Macron cool down the buddy act at Canada's G7

LA MALBAIE, Quebec, June 8 (Reuters) - It was only six weeks ago when U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron grinned, laughed, and hugged their way through a state visit in Washington, showing all the signs of two leaders with a genuine friendship.

But at the G7 summit in Canada, the physical bonhomie between the two leaders was pared back, signaling tensions that boiled over publicly just before the meeting.

Unable to persuade Trump to consider ways to stay in the Iran nuclear deal, and stung by U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminum, Macron appeared to be recalibrating his approach to Trump.

G-7 Summit in Quebec, Canada

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G-7 Summit in Quebec, Canada
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G-7 Summit in Quebec, Canada
QUEBEC, CANADA - JUNE 08: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'THIERRY QUENETTE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) (L-R) The President of the European Council Donald Tusk, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker pose for a family photo during the G7 Summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada 08 June 2018. (Photo by Handout / Thierry Quenette/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and G7 leaders Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, and U.S. President Donald Trump discuss the joint statement following a breakfast meeting on the second day of the G7 meeting in Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018. Adam Scotti/Prime Minister's Office/Handout via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and G7 leaders Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, and U.S. President Donald Trump discuss the joint statement following a breakfast meeting on the second day of the G7 meeting in Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018. Adam Scotti/Prime Minister's Office/Handout via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
QUEBEC, CANADA - JUNE 08: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'ERIC BOLTE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau (R) greets Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G7 Leaders Summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada 08 June 2018. (Photo by Handout / Eric Bolte/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and G7 leaders France's President Emmanuel Macron, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump take part in a working session on the first day of the G7 meeting in Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. Picture taken June 8, 2018. Adam Scotti/Prime Minister's Office/Handout via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (not shown) during the G7 Summit in the Charlevoix town of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pose during a family photo at the G7 Summit in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Canada?s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a bilateral meeting at the G7 Summit in in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with France's President Emmanuel Macron during a bilateral meeting at the G7 Summit in in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton watches as President Donald Trump meets with France's President Emmanuel Macron during a bilateral meeting at the G7 Summit in in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump sits side by side with France's President Emmanuel Macron during a bilateral meeting at the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, June 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
QUEBEC, CANADA - JUNE 08: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'ERIC BOLTE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) (L-R) British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walk for the family portrait during the G7 Summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada 08 June 2018. (Photo by Handout / Eric Bolte/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
QUEBEC, CANADA - JUNE 08: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'ERIC BOLTE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) (L-R) The President of the European Council Donald Tusk, British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker pose for a family photo during the G7 Summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada 08 June 2018. (Photo by Handout / Eric Bolte/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron addresses a press conference at the conclusion of the G7 Summit on June 9, 2018 in La Malbaie, Canada. - The leaders of the G7 failed to heal a tariff dispute that has pushed them to the brink of trade war, as Donald Trump quit their summit early and warned Canada, Japan and Europe that 'the gig is up.' (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
LA MALBAIE , QC - JUNE 09: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May holds a press conference at the end of the second day of the G7 Summit on June 9, 2018 in La Malbaie, Canada. Canada hosted the leaders of the UK, Italy, the US, France, Germany and Japan for the two day summit, in the town of La Malbaie. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves following the final press conference at the conclusion of the G7 summit in La Malbaie, Quebec, June 9, 2018. - Trudeau confirmed he had warned Donald Trump his country would impose retaliatory tariffs on US goods from July 1, denouncing Trump's decision to invoke national security concerns to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel as 'insulting' to the Canadian war veterans who had fought alongside US allies. (Photo by Lars Hagberg / AFP) (Photo credit should read LARS HAGBERG/AFP/Getty Images)
People watch a G7 protest from the window of a restaurant in the old sector of Quebec City, Quebec, on June 9, 2018. (Photo by Geoff Robins / AFP) (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
Police gather in the old sector of Quebec City, June 9, 2018 where anti G7 protests are planned later in the day. (Photo by Geoff Robins / AFP) (Photo credit should read GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
Riot police walk in formation during a protest march at the G7 Summit in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (C) participates in a roundtable discussion with Small Island Developing States at the G7 Summit in the Charlevoix town of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
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"I think Macron has had some very hard lessons in terms of how far flattery can get you," said Julie Smith, a former national security aide in the Obama administration.

Trump's escalation of tensions with allies was "beyond shortsighted," said Heather Conley, a former U.S. State Department official in the George W. Bush administration.

"When we're at war with our allies, if we need something, we don't have them to turn to," said Conley, now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "I think this is the part that the White House is underappreciating."

Leading up to the G7 summit, Macron tweeted his displeasure with Trump over the tariffs, and Trump tweeted back, complaining about European trade measures.

But as cameras rolled, they downplayed the divisions. "We have little tests every once in a while when it comes to trade," Trump said, expressing optimism without details that "something is going to happen" on that front.

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Body language between Trump and Macron during state visit
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Body language between Trump and Macron during state visit
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump flicks a bit of dandruff off his jacket during their meeting in the Oval Office following the official arrival ceremony for Macron at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron depart their joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hug during an arrival ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron hold a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2018. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron walk down the colonnade at the White House following the official arrival ceremony for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands during a joint press conference at the White House in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2018. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)
French President Emmanuel Macron clasps hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the conclusion of their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the conclusion of their joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and U.S. President Donald Trump embrace during the official arrival ceremony for Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 24: President Donald Trump wipes something off the jacket of President Emmanuel Macron of France during a meeting April 24, 2018 in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)
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TIGHT GRIP, TIGHT GRIN

The leaders were supposed to meet in the morning. But Trump was more than an hour delayed in leaving Washington, which meant the meeting had to be pushed back for the end of the day.

Trump pulled Macron aside for a quick chat on their way into the summit and Macron posted the pleasantries on Twitter.

When the two leaders finally met late in the day, Macron was first to reach out to shake Trump's hand and the last to let go, gripping it so tight his fingers left white marks - a reprise of the long, exaggerated handshake that marked the first meeting between the two leaders last year.

The two leaders bonded after Macron invited Trump to Paris for the Bastille Day military parade. Trump returned the honor, inviting Macron for a state visit in April.

"It looked like he had cracked the code," said Smith, now with the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

But the friendship failed to keep Trump from leaving the Iran nuclear deal, a decision that will have major implications for French businesses wary of triggering U.S. sanctions on business with Tehran.

Nor did it keep Trump from slapping stiff tariffs on imports on European steel and aluminum, a decision taken last week.

Macron occasionally flashed a tight grin as Trump spoke, and winked once, describing their talks as "very direct and open."

"I want to say sometimes we disagree, but we share I'd say common concerns and common values and we share the willingness to deliver results together," Macron said. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton, Jean-Baptiste Vey, Andreas Rinke; editing by Grant McCool)

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