While giving a speech to a group of Japanese dignitaries on his final evening in Japan, President Trump quipped that before he became president, he didn’t know there were so many countries in the world.
During his prepared remarks, Trump recalled the “rocky start” to his relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and spoke of a congratulatory call he received from Abe after the election.
“After I had won, everybody was calling me from all over the world. I never knew we had so many countries,” Trump joked.
Trump, acknowledging his lack of experience in politics, said he was unaware he wasn’t supposed to see world leaders until after January 20, because it wouldn’t be a “nice thing to do” to outgoing president Barack Obama. So when Abe said his wanted to meet him, the president said he replied, “anytime you want.”
Not long after their initial conversation, Trump learned that Abe was on his way to New York to meet him.
Trump said that after his aides told him that he couldn’t meet with Abe just yet, it was too late; Abe was already on the plane and en route. Ultimately, Trump decided not to meet with him.
“You have a very aggressive, strong, tough prime minister. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said.
Watch the video below (the relevant portion begins at about the 140-minute mark):
Featured image via screen grab