Leaked G20 Video Appears To Show Trump Rubbing Putin’s Back At First Meeting, World Gags (VIDEO)

The first official meeting between Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin was captured on what appears to be a cellphone recording – and it’s cringeworthy.

Trump, who famously views handshakes as a “power contest” and often clamps down and yanks, gives Putin a warm one, placing his other hand on Putin’s forearm. Adding to the surreal friendliness of the moment, as the two begin to talk, Trump reaches out, and for reasons that will forever remain inexplicable, appears to pat or rub Putin’s upper back.

It was a bizarre statement to make, particularly to one of America’s foremost adversaries and the one linked to hacking that interfered with the 2016 election.

During Trump’s public sit-down with Putin, he managed to botch things further. In yet another attempt at getting on Putin’s good side, Trump said he was “honored” to be with Putin. The word choice is a diplomatic faux pas, signaling a weak position. Putin ate it up, then simply said he was “delighted” to meet Trump. Note the difference.

As Huffington Post reporter Yashar Ali explains, the awkward interaction could have been avoided if Trump would read his briefings.

Recently, it was reported that Trump’s exasperated staff have taken to reducing briefings down to “Twitter-length” memos in an effort to entice Trump to read them. Apparently, it either didn’t work or the nuances of international diplomacy weren’t properly conveyed in 140 characters. Trump is falling into every trap.

The meeting was undoubtedly a disaster for American foreign policy, but Putin seems to be having a great time. By receiving praise from the U.S. president who he helped get elected by undermining American democracy, the Russian autocrat signaled that he has Trump eating out of his hand. The photos and videos of the meeting will likely be hastily broadcast to every corner of Russia to reinforce Putin’s dominance over America’s president.

And Trump, who couldn’t be bothered to read the memos warning him of this, probably has no idea.

Featured image via Twitter