By Laura Stampler
February 15, 2019

While President Donald Trump was giving a news conference Friday morning to announce a national emergency at the southern border, he took a brief diversion to announce a bit of international news: that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had allegedly written a “beautiful” letter nominating Trump for a Nobel Prize.

“I’ll probably never get it, but that’s okay,” Trump lamented to White House reporters in a portion of the speech which can be seen in Talking Points Memo’s below tweet. “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.”

Trump cited the role he has played in Syria as one of the reasons why “many other people” believe he should get the Nobel Peace Prize, which went to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and former captive turned advocate Nadia Murad for their work against sexual violence in 2018.

According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, President Barack Obama received the Nobel Prize in 2009 for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

“With me, I probably will never get it,” the president said. “But if you look at Idlib Province in Syria, I stopped the slaughter of perhaps 3 million people. Nobody talks about that.”

Trump claimed that Abe endorsed him for helping the Japanese people’s sense of safety. “He had missiles flying over Japan, and they had alarms going off, you know that,” he said. “Now all of a sudden, they feel good. They feel safe. I did that.”

The Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C., did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for confirmation of Abe’s letter.

Trump’s recent decision (without consulting his military advisors) to withdraw American troops from Syria has reportedly been met with anger by Israeli and Indian allies and also split some Republican senators in their support.

This isn’t the first time Trump has talked about deserving the Nobel Prize, for which 18 Republican Congresspeople announced they nominated him last spring for his efforts to denuclearize North Korea.

The Washington Post reported that the nomination didn’t make him eligible for the 2018 Nobel Prize since the deadline had passed on January 31. Although Trump had reportedly been nominated for the prize on two occasions before the deadline passed, the Post wrote that director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute Olav Njolstad said both were fraudulent and dismissed from consideration.

 

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