Theresa May has come in for a lot of flak on this side of the pond for not taking a stand against Donald Trump. She has been accused of taking too long to condemn the US president’s anti-Muslim travel ban, criticised for allowing him to hold her hand during her trip to the White House, and denounced for inviting him to the UK on a state visit.
But according to the Telegraph, May hasn’t been a total pushover when it comes to Trump. The newspaper reports that the Prime Minister recently made fun of her US counterpart in a speech, singling out one of his biggest insecurities: the size of his hands.
May was speaking at the Black and White Ball, an annual fundraiser for the Conservative Party, when she made the comments.
After receiving a round of applause as she stood to speak at the event on Monday, the Prime Minister said: “Thank you very much for that wonderful reception. I don’t think I have received such a big hand since I walked down the colonnade at the White House.”
May was referring to the notorious images from her visit to the US in January, in which she was pictured hand in hand with Trump while walking down a ramp at the White House.
Footage of the two leaders holding hands quickly spread around the world, and May was criticised in some quarters for seeming passive next to a man who has bragged about invading women’s personal space. The Labour MP Harriet Harman described “that handholding thing” as “disastrous, because it looked like he was leading her along.”
However, Downing Street dismissed the negative reaction to the images, saying that Trump had offered his hand to May as a “chivalrous gesture”.
May also appears to have been making a joke about the size of Trump’s hands, a topic that was –bizarrely – of much contention during the run-up to the presidential election. Trump’s touchiness about his allegedly undersized hands came to the fore in March 2016, when his then-rival Marco Rubio teased him about them before a Republican debate.
At the debate, Trump held up his hands to show them to the audience, and appeared – incredibly – to allude to the supposed connection between the size of a man’s hands and the size of his penis. “Look at those hands. Are they small hands?” he asked.
“[Rubio] referred to my hands: ‘If they’re small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”
On another occasion, Trump insisted that his hands were one of his many positive attributes. “[Rubio] said I have small hands. But I’ve always heard people say, ‘Donald, you have the most beautiful hands.’”
Trump claimed that Rubio was the first person to ever make fun of his hands, but – as with so many of Trump’s claims – this was demonstrably untrue. Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter first began referring to Trump as a “short-fingered vulgarian” more than 25 years ago in the pages of the satirical magazine Spy, and wrote in November 2015 that he still receives “the occasional envelope” from the now-president.
“There is always a photo of him – generally a tear sheet from a magazine,” said Carter. “On all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers.”
In March last year, The Hollywood Reporter proved that Trump does, in fact, have smaller hands than 85% of American men.
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