President Trump pretended to know Japanese during prime minister’s visit
President Trump greeted the visiting prime minister of Japan by welcoming him to the “Very Famous White House” Friday. It was indeed a historic meeting, but the president may have missed a fair amount of Shinzō Abe’s opening remarks to the press, as several reporters in the room noted it appeared he wasn’t wearing his translation earpiece.
Trump does not appear to be wearing an earpiece to translate Prime Minister Abe’s remarks. pic.twitter.com/zcN21DuXgm
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) February 10, 2017
Our WH correspondent points out #Trump doesn’t seem to have translation earpiece, isn’t listening to a word Abe is saying!
— William Edwards (@willedwards) February 10, 2017
However, as many others pointed out, Trump was nodding along in agreement as if he understood every word.
Trump is NOT wearing a translator earpiece. This means he is PRETENDING to understand Japanese. pic.twitter.com/0cgmRCUgPv
— Diane N. Sevenay (@Diane_7A) February 10, 2017
Pres Trump doesn’t appear to be wearing the translation earpiece during PM Abe’s remarks. Wait, does POTUS speak Japanese? pic.twitter.com/MuHTDQjwhe
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) February 10, 2017
At some point though — sometime after Prime Minister Abe finished his opening remarks — Trump noticed the earpiece on his dais and realized its purpose.
As Abe answered first q from Japanese press, Trump was nodding along as if he understood. After a few moments, he picked up the earpiece
— Brian Bennett (@ByBrianBennett) February 10, 2017
President Trump is now using the translation earpiece; he was apparently not wearing it during Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s opening remarks
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 10, 2017
— Dafna Linzer (@DafnaLinzer) February 10, 2017
Trump now using translation earpiece pic.twitter.com/wbqBYHetQY
— Steve Kopack (@SteveKopack) February 10, 2017
However, at least one viewer at home thought the president may not have been using it correctly.
Just turned this on, Trump has a translator earpiece, but he’s taking it out, and he definitely doesn’t have it in while Abe is talking. https://t.co/FeYCYQCCsD
— Dustin Westphal (@EvilBachus) February 10, 2017
CNN confirmed it did not appear Trump was wearing the earpiece during Abe’s speech, and that the president does not in fact speak Japanese, but was following cues from his staffers who were wearing earpieces on when to laugh.
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) February 10, 2017
[screenshot: ABC News]