In Brief

Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron - the odd couple

They seem worlds apart, but do the two leaders have more in common than first appears?

Donald Trump watched US and French troops march down the Champs-Elysees in Paris today as he joined the celebrations to mark Bastille Day.

The parade, which marked 100 years since the US joined World War I, was used by French President Emmanuel Macron to emphasise the ties between the two countries and their shared interest in combating terrorism, including in the Middle East.  

Acknowledging previous tensions over issues such as Trump's "travel ban" and the US's withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement, Macron indicated that the two leaders had agreed to disagree, reports the BBC

"We have disagreements. Mr Trump had election pledges that he took to his supporters and I had pledges. Should this hinder progress on all issues? No," he said.

Macron, 39, and Trump,71, may have more in common than they would care to admit - not least the fact they both face mounting political scandals at home.

The US President was dogged throughout his trip to France with questions about his son Donald Trump Jr's 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer. Trump himself is under investigation for a possible obstruction of justice following his sacking of former FBI director, James Comey.

Meanwhile, a formal investigation has been opened in France into allegations of cronyism at an event to promote French business at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last year, reports the Guardian.

Macron, a guest speaker at the "French tech night", is not under investigation, but his labour minister Muriel Penicaud may be. At the time, Penicaud was head of Business France, which organised the event.

The incipient scandal in Paris may not have grabbed today's headlines, but it is simmering in the background - as is the two men's competitiveness.

While Trump is known for his domineering handshakes, he may have met his match. "On at least one, and maybe two, occasions during the tug of war Trump tries to pull away and Macron just keeps holding on," CNN reports.

"My handshake with him, it's not innocent," Macron said today. "It's not the alpha and the omega of politics, but a moment of truth."

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