US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladmir Putin shared a "warm" and "affectionate" handshake at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam and the internet couldn't stop talking about it. As speculation mounted over a possible meeting between the two leaders at the conference, the White House said there would be no formal meeting due to scheduling conflicts on both sides.
Just minutes before landing in Danang, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters: "Regarding a Putin meeting, there was never a meeting confirmed, and there will not be one that takes place due to scheduling conflicts on both sides."
"Now, they're going to be in the same place. Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely," she continued. "But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there's not one on the calendar and we don't anticipate that there will be one."
During the two-day APEC summit, the two world leaders did speak informally a few times. Trump and Putin were seen chatting briefly while walking to a summit photo-op on Saturday. They also shook hands and spoke before an APEC plenary session.
Any interaction between the two leaders will come under scrutiny amid the ongoing congressional investigations and special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Trump's team and Moscow. Trump has long denied any collusion and slammed the probes as a "witch hunt" while Russia has dismissed the allegations as "baseless".
US intelligence agencies concluded in a report released earlier this year that Putin ordered a complex "influence campaign" to harm Hillary Clinton's chances and help Trump win the election.
Social media users, however, focused on the leaders' interaction during the so-called class photo on Friday night when all the heads of state in attendance came together to take a photo before the APEC summit officially kicked off.
Trump and Putin shared a long and "intimate" handshake while dressed in matching oversized, bright blue traditional Vietnamese shirts provided by the host country. It is a tradition at the APEC summit for world leaders to don matching outfits.
Twitter immediately proceeded to mock the duo over the "affectionate" handshake amid tensions between the two countries with one person describing it as the "warmest Trump handshake ever". Others responded with a slew of hilarious jokes, mocking comments and memes.
"Trump looks so damn happy," one person tweeted. "He really does adore Putin."
Another person wrote: "Putin actually turned Trump from orange to beet red.. Trump's ears definitely looks like a sign of anxiety."
"Find you a man who looks at you the way Donald Trump looks at Vladimir Putin," another chimed.