US President Donald Trump looked very attentive while Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe delivered his opening remarks during a press conference at the “very famous” White House.
The POTUS can be seen constantly nodding in agreement and even laughing at the jokes as Shinzo Abe spoke in Japanese.
But unless he suddenly learned Abe’s native language prior the speech, Trump couldn’t have understood what Abe was actually saying. This is because he appears to be not wearing the earpiece that was supposed to patch through an English translation of Abe’s words.
Reporters in the room eventually noticed something was amiss and began posting their observations on Twitter.
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
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
Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would later confirm that Trump may have worn the earpiece after Abe finished his opening remarks.
She told the Guardian, “I don’t believe during that time. But he did see the text and they spoke quite extensively before the remarks.”
When Trump realized he had an earpiece, he can be seen fiddling with it, occasionally touching it in his ear, while Abe answers some questions from journalists.
According to CNN, Trump took cues from his staff to know how to respond to Abe’s remarks, hence the constant nodding and occasional smiles.
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) February 10, 2017