Since people were commenting on Trump’s very weird behavior with Merkel I thought I’d share my theory thanks to a bit of info I recently found out (apparently old news in Germany).
Merkel is a compulsive fingernail biter, apparently to the point where sometimes there is blood around the cuticles (I’ll spare you that picture) and Trump is well known as a germophobe. Put the two together and… he was probably grossed out by her hands.
Not a nettes Bild!
He could manage an initial handshake (after which he probably boiled his hands in chlorox) but was not anxious for a repeat. The idea of shaking a hand that had been in her mouth and that might have traces of saliva and blood… the body language looks to me like he’s shutting down.
He’s retreating to his happy place.
Please note that this is not a defense, not being able to overcome one’s issues is not very presidential. Part of the job description is participating in pointless public rituals that no sane person would want to have anything to do with. And part of that is petty mind games, I wouldn’t put it past Merkel to realize what happened (it couldn’t be the first time) and played with it, like Putin tried to scare her with his dog.