The Slatest

Japan Nominated Trump for Nobel Peace Prize Because White House Asked

President Donald Trump speaks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the sidelines of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, on November 30, 2018.
President Donald Trump speaks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Buenos Aires, on November 30, 2018.
SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

Turns out President Donald Trump wasn’t lying about being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did indeed put Trump’s name forward for the coveted prize last year. But it turns out he did so only after the White House “informally” asked Abe’s administration to nominate Trump following his historic meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore, according to Japanese newspaper Asahi.

The confirmation comes after Trump surprised many by revealing on Friday that Abe had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Trump claimed Abe had given him “the most beautiful copy” of his five-page nomination letter. The president made the revelation while responding a question about the progress he had made in negotiations since last year’s summit with North Korea. Trump claims he thanked Abe for the gesture but insisted he knew he wasn’t going to win. Still, Trump made it very clear he felt he deserved the nomination. “You know why? Because he had rocket ships and he had missiles flying over Japan,” Trump said. “Now, all of a sudden, they feel good. They feel safe. I did that,” Trump said.

Trump has often expressed bitterness about former President Barack Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize and he once again brought it up on Friday. “They gave it to Obama. He didn’t even know what he got it for. He was there for about 15 seconds and he got the Nobel Prize. He said, ‘Oh, what did I get it for?’” Trump said. “With me, I probably will never get it.” Trump went on to say why he thinks he more than deserves the award, going beyond North Korea to say he should be credited for “stopping the slaughter of perhaps 3 million people” in Syria. “Nobody talks about that,” he complained.