We’ve never met, but I have a feeling I’d get along quite well with Akie Abe, wife to Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. It’s come to light that she may have snubbed President Trump at a summit dinner by pretending she didn’t know a word of English – something that’s given the entire internet a whole lot of LOLs.
The news was broken by Trump himself, who revealed in a recent interview with the New York Times that Abe couldn’t even say ‘hello.’
“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 she doesn’t speak English,” Trump told the Times. “Like, not ‘hello’.”
It’s a claim that The Times’ Tokyo bureau chief has now refuted. As it turns out, Abe has delivered multiple speeches in English. Here’s one that political consultant Sam Theilman found (and has since been retweeted 12,872 times).
Of course, the internet’s version of the story probably isn’t quite as funny in real life. As The Washington Post points out, although Abe has delivered prepared speeches in English, she always travels with a translator for her visits to the US and it’s likely she isn’t fluent.
She did, however, attend an English-speaking international school in Tokyo from kindergarten right through to high-school, so I think it’s safe to assume she just didn’t want to talk to Trump. Like, not even hello.