Earlier this month, President Trump sat next to Japan’s First Lady Akie Abe at a G20 summit dinner and she didn’t speak to him. Like, not even a hello.
Trump told the story to The New York Times Wednesday, saying that though he found Abe to be a “terrific woman,” sitting next to her for two hours was “hard” because she “doesn’t speak English.”
“Like, nothing, right? Like zero?” Times writer Maggie Haberman clarified. “Like, not ’hello,'” Trump said.
“There was one interpreter for Japanese, ’cause otherwise it would have been even tougher,” he explained. “But I enjoyed the evening with her, and she’s really a lovely woman, and I enjoyed—the whole thing was good.”
The only problem? Turns out Abe might just know English after all.
On Thursday, the Internet unearthed video of the first lady delivering a keynote address at the R3ADY Asia-Pacific symposium in New York in 2014. In the clip, Abe reads off a prepared 15-minute speech:
Twitter users quickly began to circulate the video, declaring Abe their new hero for pretending not to know English just so she could avoid speaking with the president.
Akie Abe is my new hero. pic.twitter.com/WEnjBsrRQ3
— Sam Thielman (@samthielman) July 20, 2017
Akie Abe pretending she doesn't speak English to avoid talking to Trump is next level petty and I have nothing but respect for it pic.twitter.com/RYkTvw0Xs2
— Catie Hogan (@CatieHogan) July 20, 2017
Maybe the issue isn't Akie Abe's conversational skills, but Donald Trump's? https://t.co/IMcbH52DOB
— Hiroko Tabuchi (@HirokoTabuchi) July 21, 2017
While we’ll never know for sure what actually went down at the dinner, reports did surface that after Trump’s uncomfortable meal with Abe, he went off to speak with Vladimir Putin for a second time in an undisclosed meeting. The president later called this story “sick” on Twitter.