Trump falsely claims Japanese first lady doesn't speak English

Gladys Abbott
July 21, 2017

The Japanese first lady sat next to President Donald Trump for almost two hours without speaking to him, prompting him to believe she didn't speak English.

"Looks like the First Lady of Japan pretended not to speak English for almost 2 hrs to avoid talking to Trump", tweeted writer Jessica Valenti.

Trump's comments are even more awkward considering the Japanese Prime Minister and his wife were the first overseas dignitaries hosted by the American President after he took office.

During a recent - and divisive - interview with The New York Times, President Donald Trump alluded to the First Lady of Japan, Akie Abe, not being able to speak English.

There was only one Japanese interpreter, so the First Lady of Japan didn't make use of the person's services. "But I enjoyed the evening with her, and she's really a lovely woman, and I enjoyed - the whole thing was good", Trump told the Times.

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"Abe Akie, wife of the Japanese PM pretended she didnt know english when having dinner with President Trump", wrote abdul rahman.

But footage circulated Thursday of the prime minister's wife on September 25, 2014 at the Ford Foundation in NY - where she appeared quite able to read aloud a keynote address in English. A video that's been circulating shows Abe giving a 15-minute speech. entirely in English.

While it is hard to find out for sure what exactly happened between Abe and Trump at the dinner, the internet has made a decision to enjoy the thought that it was simply the Japanese First Lady's way of dodging some small talk.

Twitter quickly circulated the video Thursday, with several users naming Abe their "new hero" as journalists disputed Trump's claim.

And while it may be that the president, who had a Japanese translator with him, just assumed she did not speak English and refused to speak to her, social media has other ideas.

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