There’s that old line that one picture is worth a thousand words. Well, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s official Instagram account just posted a picture from the G7 summit in Canada that may be worth 10,000 words. It’s a picture of a seated, defensive-looking, arms crossed President Trump faced with many of the other leaders from the G7. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is leaning forward, palms pressed on the table, looking powerful against Trump. On one side of Merkel stands Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who also has his arms crossed and looks none too thrilled. French President Emmanuel Macron is on the other side of Merkel, has one hand on the table and a furrowed brow. Next to him British Prime Minister Theresa May has her face partly hidden, something for which she may or may not be grateful. Here is the original image from Merkel’s official Instagram account, an image that also spurred a lot of commentary on Twitter:
Of course Trump’s belligerent, unilateral, protectionist stance on trade, particularly on tariffs, may be assumed to be the topic of contentious discussion in this photo. Part of Merkel’s caption translates to “a spontaneous meeting between two working sessions”. From the looks of the photo, it seems spontaneous in the same way a schoolyard brawl might be spontaneous. As this person tweeted, “G7 summed up in one photo”.
G7 summed up in one photo. pic.twitter.com/TLv1wr6xrW
— Greg Hogben (@MyDaughtersArmy) June 9, 2018
Another person suggested Merkel had placed Trump in the “naughty seat”, writing, “My God, this G7 is producing a hell of a set of images. Has Angela Merkel placed Trump on the naughty seat?”
My God, this G7 is producing a hell of a set of images.
Has Angela Merkel placed Trump on the naughty seat? pic.twitter.com/yMIJr1nE1U
— John O'Brennan (@JohnOBrennan2) June 9, 2018
Trump’s posture caught a lot of attention. As this person wrote, “Look at the body language with his arms crossed – he’s gonna resist whatever she says no matter what…”, to which another person responded, “That’s his typical pose when he’s done listening, has become bored with the issue, and doesn’t care and or has been proven without a doubt wrong by still thinks he’s right.”
That’s his typical pose when he’s done listening, has become bored with the issue, and doesn’t care and or has been proven without a doubt wrong but still thinks he’s right.
— 🐻🤓🦄📎🏳️🌈🖖🏽 (@marcm714) June 9, 2018
So much for Trump’s claims that his relationships with Germany, France, and Canada are all still a “10”, despite the tariff battle. According to The Hill, Trump said just today that “I would say that the level of the relationship is a 10. We have a great relationship — Angela [Merkel] and Emmanuel [Macron] and Justin [Trudeau]. I would say the relationship is a 10.” One person in their tweet suggested that Merkel’s picture is a response to this untrue comment from Trump, with Trump saying “Our relationship is a 10” and Merkel saying “You are acting like a 10 year-old.”
Trump: "Our relationship is a 10."
Merkel: "You are acting like a 10 year-old." https://t.co/NWNZ4CeBCD
— Karen Piper (@PiperK) June 9, 2018
Another person who clearly seemed to like that Merkel was standing up to Trump said, “Angela Merkel is my new religion.”
Angela Merkel is my new religion pic.twitter.com/4fcqNltltj
— Sarah Weinstein (@slwein) June 9, 2018
Reportedly Merkel’s spokesman, Steffan Seibert, posted the photo on Merkel’s official Instagram account. It is quite clear from all the comments that this photo speaks volumes about the tense relationship Trump has created between himself and key U.S. allies, that those allies are going to stand up to Trump, and that Trump often acts like a petulant, defensive, shut down child in the face of criticism. Likely that was exactly the message that Merkel wanted to get across with the photo in a very succinct way. Mission accomplished, Chancellor Merkel.