President Trump came under fire this week after it was revealed that he had a second, undisclosed meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 summit in Germany earlier in July. The White House initially said it was social, just pleasantries and small talk, and in an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, the president expanded on his reasoning for talking with Putin at a dinner for world leaders at the summit. However, in doing so, Trump made a false claim about Japanese First Lady Akie Abe.
President Trump told The New York Times he was seated next to the wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the nearly two-hour dinner during which he spoke to Putin.
"She’s a terrific woman, but doesn’t speak English," Trump said, telling the reporters that the first lady can't even say "hello" in English. He added that he was also sitting next to the first lady of Argentina, who does speak English.
But, Trump's claim wasn't true at all — Talking Points Memo reporter Sam Thielman pointed out on Twitter that First Lady Akie does speak English. In fact, she's even given full speeches in English.
So, this leaves two options: Either Trump lied about her not speaking English, or she pretended to not speak English to avoid talking to the U.S. president. The people of Twitter, guessing that she chose to avoid a conversation with Trump, praised the clever tactic.
Trump implied he talked to Putin at the dinner because the person next to him didn't speak English, but later in the same interview said he went over to talk to First Lady Melania, who was sitting next to Putin, and happened to have a conversation with the Russian president.
If that's the case, why even bring up what languages he thinks Akie does or doesn't speak?