Former President Donald Trump recalled his friendship with former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend while discussing Abe’s assassination last summer.
Trump made the remarks during an interview on Fox News’ “Life, Liberty & Levin” with host Mark Levin when Levin noted how close the two men were and that they had “a lot of correspondence between” them.
“He was a handsome man. He was a dignified man. He loved his country,” Trump said. “He was somebody I just got along with great, he loved golf. We played golf. He — we played with Ernie Ells in this country was a big great golfer, and somebody respected highly.”
“Abe loved Japan, and he loved the people. And he respected the United States,” Trump said. “I dealt with Abe, and I got to know him really well. And he was high quality. I think he was going to reemerge.”
Trump said that it was a “very sad day” in his life when Abe was assassinated .
President Trump on the assassination of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: “That was a very sad day in my life.” pic.twitter.com/nTS5GeLuYK
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) May 1, 2023
MARK LEVIN: Mr. President, the horrific tragedy in Japan, where Abe was assassinated with a handmade gun. He was a great friend of the United States and apparently was a very, very close friend of yours.
You have a lot of correspondence between the two of you tell us about him.
DONALD TRUMP: So, he was a handsome guy, who’s the first person to call me I want to meet I want to meet we actually met before I was at the White House, which in theory isn’t appropriate. They say because you know, somebody else is running the country. You’re not supposed to.
We didn’t know that. But he just wanted to meet. He was already on the plane.
He literally — we said, you know, maybe you could wait a couple of weeks. But he was already on the plane. I got to know him very early.
He was a handsome man. He was a dignified man. He loved his country.
He was somebody I just got along with great, he loved golf. We played golf. He we played with Ernie Ells in this country was a big great golfer, and somebody respected highly.
And when I went to Japan, it was Matsuyama; Matsuyama had, you know, is the great Japanese champion who won the Masters is great player. And I got there I saw my sponsor, you know, rated one of the top couple in the world. Big strong guy and I said, we are playing with him.
This is my honor. To have him play with us. And then I went up to Matsuyama where he drops his putter he’s practicing putting on before we got there.
Thousands of presses, by the way, thousands of presses. You never saw anything like it. Michael Jackson used to tell me that probably has some good stuff on Michael to Michael Jackson used to tell me that and say, Michael, is it always this way?
Would God he’d say, no, no, Japan has worse meaning for the paparazzi thousands, But I walk into the green I shake his hand drops his Matsuyama that’s very beautiful, the customer and everything else. Little funny sir only forgot people because most people wouldn’t. You know, really on his head.
He’s a very strong person, very strong physically for it’s about long. And so, to hit the ball long. So, I’m up there and thousands of photographers I’m on the first tee hitting a ball.
And I take a swing and hit it perfectly down the middle beautiful drive right down the middle pretty long by any standard, the longest per age, OK, but pretty long. And everybody was very impressed. And then this guy gets up.
And he ripped it. And his ball was starting to get airborne as it reached. And I said that’s a very, but we had a great time and Abe loved it.
But Abe loved Japan, and he loved the people. And he respected the United States. And we had a very unfair trade deal with Japan.
They took advantage of us like everybody, everybody does, OK. There wasn’t a country where we had a fair deal. South Korea was horrible.
So, many. I changed the South Korea deal. I changed it Japan changed.
But I dealt with Abe, and I got to know him really well. And he was high quality. I think he was going to reemerge.
You know, he actually left because he was quite sick. But he recovered. And I think it was actually going to reemerge.
But think of it, they barely have a gun in the whole country. And this crazy man made a gun. And it was a big gun too.
And Abe was assassinated. And that was a very sad day in my life. Because of all of the leaders.
You know, I hate to say this, because I got along with a lot of them. But I really maybe had the best relationship with IBM, Japan. He was willing to redo the trade deals, he really had no choice because I said, look, either you do it or we’re not going to do business.
Related: Ex-Japanese PM Shinzo Abe Assassinated While Giving Speech