Trump insists mood during viral photo with Merkel was 'very friendly'
Published Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:55AM EDT
U.S. President Donald Trump is offering his own explanation about that infamous photo showing German Chancellor Angela Merkel apparently staring him down at this weekend’s G7 summit.
The photo shows Merkel standing with her hands planted on a table, staring down at Trump who is seated with his arms folded, meeting her gaze, as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Emmanuel Macron watch.
It was released on Sunday during the final hours of the Group of Seven summit in Quebec and quickly went viral on social media. Some have compared the shot to a Renaissance painting, with many insisting the shot is rife with symbolism.
But Trump told reporters Tuesday in Singapore, where he’s been meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, that the mood during the photo was “friendly.”
“The picture with Angela Merkel – who I get along with very well -- where I’m sitting there like this [crosses arms], that picture was we’re waiting for the document because I wanted to see the final document with the changes I requested,” Trump said.
“I know it didn’t look friendly and I know it was reported as like sort of nasty, both ways, that I was angry at her and she was… actually, we were just talking, the whole group, about something, unrelated to everything, very friendly.”
The photo was taken by a German government photographer and tweeted by Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert.
The White House issued its own photo shortly after that shows Trump speaking as Merkel, Abe and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listen.
Others have posted photos of their own that appears to reveal different moods from the scene.
You know that iconic photo of Trump being surrounded by world leaders at the #G7 Summit? This is the moment right afterwards. Two things:— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) June 10, 2018
A) It shows where Canadian PM Trudeau was
B) It's much more revealing when you zoom in pic.twitter.com/4t8fmk9gSj