Japan’s First Lady pretends not to speak English to avoid talking with Trump

The First Lady of Japan Akie Abe appears to have avoided speaking to Trump by pretending not to speak English.

Trump was seated next to Abe, who is the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at an event during the G20 Summit in Hamburg Germany earlier this month. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Trump said Abe “doesn’t speak English.”

When pushed on the subject by the Time’s Maggie Haberman, Trump responded, “Like, not ‘hello.’” And so Trump said having conversation was “hard.”

But it turns out Japan’s First Lady has an excellent command over the English language — as does her husband — and was recorded giving the keynote address (in English) during an event at New York City’s Ford Foundation in 2014 (video below).

So, did Abe simply not want to speak to Trump during the summit? Observers on social media seem to think so:

Others pointed out that U.S. First Lady Melania Trump hosted Akie Abe in February. Both First Ladies toured a garden in South Florida with Abe, and both spoke English without translators.

President Trump would later switch seats away from Abe at this same dinner in order to sit with Russian President Vladimir Putin for an informal meeting that went undisclosed until earlier this week.