Shortly before meeting with Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan for a sidebar at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, President Trump accused yet another esteemed organization of bias against him, claiming that he would have already won a Nobel Peace Prize if the selection committee weren’t rigged. “I would get a Nobel Prize for a lot of things if they give it out fairly, which they don’t,” Trump told Pakistani reporters as he discussed the conflict in Kashmir, calling himself an “extremely good arbitrator.”
That may be true in the president’s mind, where saying a thing is done is equivalent to actually completing the task. But as far as real negotiations, grading the president’s performance as “extremely good” would require a serious curve. In North Korea, despite his “special bond” with dictator Kim Jong-un, there has been no real progress on a denuclearization deal, and Pyongyang is still dabbling in short-range-missile tests. In negotiations with Iran, Trump abandoned his predecessor’s deal and flirts with open conflict on a monthly basis — though he is still reportedly open to a $15 billion payment to entice Tehran to comply with the nuclear parameters of the 2015 agreement he unilaterally bailed on. And the advertised Israeli-Palestine “deal of the century” from Jared Kushner is so detached from reality that even GOP allies have urged the administration to scrap it.
Despite this underwhelming report card, Trump has continually pushed for the high humanitarian honor. In February, the White House “informally” requested that Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe nominate Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in April, Trump allies began repeating the narrative that Trump should be a shoo-in for the award. By May, he had internalized that he was a statesman worthy of the prize — despite celebrating violence against journalists and inciting violence against sitting members of Congress:
Like so many of the president’s actions — rescinding the Clean Power Plan, leaving the Paris climate agreement, ditching the Iran deal — Trump’s need for international humanitarian recognition is driven by the legacy of his predecessor. “They gave one to Obama immediately upon his ascent to the presidency,” Trump told reporters on Monday, referring to the largely symbolic and not-exactly-prescient Nobel Peace Prize given to 44 less than nine months into his term. “He had no idea why he got it,” Trump said. “You know what? That was the only thing I agreed with him on.”