EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, known for his heartfelt greetings, said the recent kiss on the cheek with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office somehow took him by surprise.
After Junckers visit to Washington on Thursday, Trump boasted of “breakthrough” results amid the ongoing trade war. In an apparent bid to demonstrate improved relations between the US and its European allies, Trump tweeted a picture of himself and Juncker in an embrace, with the EU Commission chief kissing Trumps cheek.
Juncker seemed rather shy in speaking about the kiss.
“Surprisingly and in contrast to my usual behavior, the initiative did not come from me,” he said, adding that he was unaware that another photographer was present in the room. “It actually summed up the ambiance of the moment well. And it was Trump who published the picture, not me.”
He also said the kiss with Trump was the first of its kind.
“I think that was the first time,” the head of the EU Commission told German public broadcaster ARD.
The 63-year-old Juncker is indeed known for his heartfelt greetings. In 2016, he was caught on camera making friendly gestures which included slapping several fellow leaders on the face. This prompted an avalanche of speculation over whether he had imbibed a bit too much booze.
In mid-June, Juncker was filmed stumbling and losing his balance at NATO headquarters, which again led some to believe he may have been drunk. It later emerged, however, that Juncker suffered from a painful sciatica attack.
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