donald trump
Trump said he never knew there were "so many countries" in the world until after he won the election and Twitter couldn't stop taunting him for it KIYOSHI OTA/AFP/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump told a gathering of Japanese officials at a state banquet that he "never knew we had so many countries" in the world until after winning the election, and Twitter couldn't stop laughing. During a speech at the Akasana Palace in Tokyo on his last night in Japan – the first leg of his maiden trip to the Asian-Pacific region as president, Trump discussed his relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which he said "got off to quite a rocky start".

"My relationship with Shinzo got off to quite a rocky start because I never ran for office, and here I am," Trump said. "But I never ran, so I wasn't very experienced. And after I had won, everybody was calling me from all over the world. I never knew we had so many countries.

"So I was now President-elect. But I didn't know you were supposed to not see world leaders until after you were in office, which was January 20th. So you were just not supposed to because it was considered bad form. It was not a nice thing to do, and I understand that from the standpoint of the President whose place you were taking."

He continued: "So you can only take so many calls from world leaders - because, you know, everybody was calling. But Japan, you take. And some others -- we took Germany, we took Russia, we took China, we took - we took your Prime Minister."

He described Abe as a "very aggressive, strong, tough prime minister" and said Japan and the US "will have incredible friendship and incredible success for many centuries to come."

Trump's 13-day tour of Asia will include stops in South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Twitter, on the other hand, quickly pounced on the opportunity to mock the president over his "embarrassing" statement. While most responded with a slew of sarcasm-laden comments, jokes and face palm memes, others questioned if he was joking or being serious.

"Isn't it sad that I'm not sure if that's satire or not. I'm guessing not," one user tweeted. Another added: "I didn't think it was physically possible to cringe this hard."

One Twitter user said: "He must have skipped that class. His bone spurs were acting up!"

"Just when we think it couldn't get any more embarrassing," another person chimed.