On Monday, Trump tweeted out what is basically a campaign video for an election he lost two months ago, showing him as he “stands for America,” appoints Supreme Court judges, signs executive orders, and enjoys support from all his most important constituencies: “women for Trump,” “Latinos for Trump,” “Blacks for Trump,” and the beautiful boaters. In the portion devoted to peace — just after the “Trump stands for military might” segment — the video shows the Nobel Peace Prize Photoshopped in front of a clip of the White House ceremony for the Abraham Accords, in which Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize relations with Israel.
Though his administration’s negotiation of this formal recognition of Israel — the first time an Arab nation has done so since 1994 — will be one of the few lasting achievements of Trump’s foreign policy, it did not win him the Nobel Peace Prize. The superimposition of the gold medal over a clip of the meeting, however, suggested that it did.
Trump — who has maintained the legacy of extrajudicial targeted strikes and overseen family separation at the border — has had a strange relationship with the high humanitarian honor since at least 2018, when the Norwegian Nobel Committee found that an unknown American had twice pretended to be a qualified nominator and put Trump up for the award for his “ideology of peace through force.” In 2019, the White House also reportedly asked former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to nominate Trump for the award. And in 2020, a similar ploy to appease our image-obsessed executive took place when a far-right member of the Norwegian Parliament nominated Trump. Never a close reader, Trump misconstrued the development earlier this year, complaining that the “fake news never even” covered his two Nobel wins — which do not exist.
Quasi campaign videos like the one posted on Monday are unlikely to cease once Trump exits the White House, as they take very little effort on the part of his staff or supporters and appear to provide him great satisfaction. But soon, the public will no longer be forced to pay such close attention to the political fantasies, stunts, and minor lies of a vain ex-president. Or pay for them.