National Security

Scarborough Goes Off on Trump Handshake: ‘He Looked like a Thug,’ ‘Mauling Him Like an Idiot’

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough unloaded Tuesday on President Trump's behavior abroad toward NATO allies, calling him a "thug," "goon" and "embarrassment" for his strange handshake with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Unusual optical moments were a significant focus of coverage of Trump's first presidential trip abroad, the height of which was Trump and Macron engaging in a lengthy, white-knuckled handshake that has been the subject of a great deal of analysis in the media. Other moments that were pored over included Trump seemingly pushing aside the Prime Minister of Montenegro and Macron initially avoiding Trump's handshake attempt at the NATO summit.

Watching Trump aggressively shake Macron's hand in the group of world leaders, Scarborough sounded off on "Morning Joe."

"He looked like a thug," Scarborough said. "He looked like a goon. Look at this. What a thug. What an embarrassment. Look, he's mauling him like an idiot … What an embarrassment to the United States."

He felt the same way about Trump's apparent push of the Montenegro prime minister, Duško Marković.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel remarked at a rally on Sunday that "the times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over," a comment widely viewed as a statement that the U.S. leadership role in the world was being redefined under Trump.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski said Merkel's statement reflected she and other European leaders felt Trump had no "talent" and could not be worked with on the international stage.

During Trump's trip, he criticized NATO leaders for not meeting defense spending obligations, and he also did not commit the U.S. to staying in the Paris climate agreement, although he said a decision was forthcoming.