Donald Trump getting snubbed at the world stage is not something new. Remember the time when the Polish First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda deliberately avoided his handshake? However, the most recent of his snubs, this time involving Japan First Lady Akie Abe, is cracking up the internet
Japan's First Lady Akie Abe very cleverly avoided talking to US President Donald Trump by pretending to not know English during the dinner at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Earlier this month, while at the ceremonial event, Donald Trump sat beside Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife Akie Abe. Later, Trump, in an exclusive interview with the New York Times on 19 July said: "So, I was seated next to the wife of Prime Minister Abe, who I think is a terrific guy, and she's a terrific woman but doesn't speak English ... Like, not 'hello'."
The US leader went on to say that it was hard sitting with them for hours and he later went to speak to his wife Melania Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was seated just beside her.
"So I'm sitting there. There was one interpreter for Japanese, 'cause otherwise, it would have been even tougher. But I enjoyed the evening with her, and she's really a lovely woman, and I enjoyed — the whole thing was good." Trump added.
Here's the catch
However, Los Angeles Times was quick to point out the loopholes in Trump's claim by posting YouTube video in which Mrs Abe is seen speaking fluent English. Check out the clip here:
Contrary to claims, Japanese government, through an official statement, maintained that Akie had a "meaningful conversation" with Trump.
Shinzo Abe's right-hand man and Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said at a press conference in Tokyo on 20 July that the First Lady and Trump had "meaningful conversation" with the help of an interpreter. "I believe (Akie) left a wonderful impression on President Trump," said Suga, as reported.
While most of the internet is having a good laugh, some people bothered to delve deeper into the matter and speculated that Akie might have preferred to keep quiet to avoid misspeak. Check out some of the tweets here:
It should be noted that Akie Abe has mostly interacted through a translator on foreign trips -- when she visited Great Falls Elementary in Virginia with former US First Lady Michelle Obama or at a 2014 Womenomics forum. BBC also said that her "previous diplomatic encounters have almost always been through an interpreter and when the British news agency requested an interview with her in the past, Japan said Akie would only accept the request if it is conducted in Japanese."
It seems evident that the netizens have probably blown things out of proportion though Akie didn't have any intention of snubbing President Trump. However, the latter's claim that the woman, who previously worked at Dentsu - Japan's largest international public relations company, did not even to even say 'Hello" seems to be far-fetched.