Awkward is the word that can be used to describe Donald Trump’s joint press conference with Shinzō Abe, the prime minister of Japan. The event opened with some eyes rolling and ended with Abe shutting Trump down as he attempted to leave early to go golfing at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Before the press conference, the two men sat inside the White House with Trump flashing a huge smile as they posed for pictures in front of a large pool of international reporters and photographers.
It is not known why but Mr. Trump decided to engage in a 19-second-handshake that baffled and at some point infuriated the Japanese leader. When Trump finally let Mr. Abe’s hand go, he returned to his seat, he rolled his eyes, and shook his head with a sigh. The look on the President of the Liberal Democratic Party’s face said: “WTH just happened here?”
Trump took a bad situation and made it worse by turning to reporters and telling them that the Asian politician had “strong hands” and made a move as if he was swinging a golf club. However, that is not where the awkwardness ended.
The men walked to the press conference, and Trump attempted to explain the strange moment that had just occurred by saying: “I shook hands, but I grabbed him and hugged him because that’s the way we feel.” During the press conference, Abe tried to stay focused on policy, while Mr. Trump gave short answers and consistently used the following terms “very, very good bond” and “very, very good chemistry.”
The prime minister tried to talk about something that Mr. Trump can comprehend – high-speed trains. He said: “Such a train could get from Washington to New York, where Trump Tower exists, in one hour.”
Trump, who was eager to fly to the Trump International Golf Club in Florida to play golf, tried to end the press conference. POTUS said: “I’m looking forward for our weekend in Florida with Donald. We will play golf together. My scores in golf is not up to the level of Donald at all, but my policy is never up, never in. Always aiming for the cup, never to just the goal with the shortcuts and short chops.”
Abe was having none of it and asked Trump to pursue with the bilateral press conference.