In a New York Times interview released Wednesday, Donald Trump claims he was not able to converse with Japanese first lady Akie Abe at a G20 summit dinner. 

After all, he said, despite being a “terrific woman,” she “doesn’t speak English.”

“Like, nothing, right? Like zero?” Times reporter Maggie Haberman asked him. “Like, not ‘hello,'” Trump replied. 

Except … it appears that Akie Abe does speak English. In fact, here’s a video of her delivering an entire keynote address in English.

And the internet has jumped to a tantalizing conclusion: Akie Abe pretended not to know English so she didn’t have to talk to Trump. 

It’s definitely a tempting argument: even if she doesn’t speak the language comfortably in conversation, seems like she’d at least be able to say “hello,” right?

Of course, Trump is also a terrible man, so he could have just assumed she couldn’t speak English because she’s from another country and it’s not her primary language. Or many other things could have made this impression on him, or led her not to speak.

Either way, avoiding the person next to you for two hours sounds amazing. I will keep this in mind at my high school reunion.



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