Japanese First Lady Gives Trump the Silent Treatment
Donald Trump casually mentioned in an interview with The New York Times that he was seated next to the wife of the Japanese prime minister, Akie Abe, and that she couldn't speak any English. He explained when he spoke with reporter Maggie Haberman:
HABERMAN: Like, nothing, right? Like zero?
TRUMP: Like, not “hello.”
HABERMAN: That must make for an awkward seating.
Why? Because Akie Abe can definitely speak some English.
(She begins speaking at 2:15)
So what happened at the dinner? Was she ignoring him? Or did she just not feel up to the task of engaging in conversation in a foreign language that night?
Many have come to her defense, pointing out that she has used an interpreter in the past and may not be confident in her conversational English skills. You wouldn't want to misspeak with a foreign dignitary! Controvery is (quite clearly) an easy trap.
Japan's foreign ministry spokesman has declined to comment on the issue.