Donald Trump appeared to suggest he could receive the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for negotiations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, after the organisation awarded its 2020 prize to the United Nations’ food assistance branch.
“Instead of the endless war, we are forging peace in the Middle East – in fact, I got three Nobel Peace Prize nominations,” the president told a crowd at a campaign rally in Florida on Friday.
"Only one for the Middle East," he said. "Let’s see what happens.”
The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to World Food Programme “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict,” the organisation announced on 9 October.
Mr Trump has routinely conflated his nominations – which the organisation does not record, release or consider endorsements – as an honourific.
The organisation stresses that receiving a nomination, which any one of thousands of people can make, is not an “extended honour.”
During a recent rally in Iowa, he appeared to complain his nominations for the 2021 prize – from a far-right Norwegian politician and nationalist member of Sweden’s parliament – did not receive enough news coverage, compared to the flooding in the state he was visiting.
“I get home, I turn home the television and they talked about your floods in Iowa,” he said on 14 October. "How is Iowa doing? The crops. How is this happening? How are they doing in Florida? Three or four stories, one after another. Where is my Nobel Peace Prize? They don’t talk about it. I said, ‘You know, darling. This news is a little tough to crack.'”
In Florida, he touted his administration’s recognition of Jerusalem “as the true capital of Israel” – though the US had moved its embassy from Tel Aviv.
The president also touted his recognition of “Israeli soverignty over the Golan Heights," which he authored in an executive order in 2019.
“They’ve been talking about that for 52 years,” he said. “They’d fly in, fly out – 52 years. I got it done in about two hours.”
He also suggested that his predecessor Barack Obama had “no idea” why he was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. The former president was recognised by the organisation in 2009 “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
The president said: “When Obama got it he didn’t even – he just said, ‘What did I do?’ He had no idea what he did.”
“And they made it a big story,” he added. “I did a great job.”
He also pointed to economic negotiations with between Serbia and Kosovo – both parts of former Yugoslavia, which agreed to a White House "economic normalisation" deal in September – as a way to “save a lot of lives."
“Kosovo, Serbia – you know they were killing each other for many years, killing lots of people,” he said. “It was like, they fight for years, decades, and centuries, they just fight.”
He added: “We’re making these trade deals, I said, ‘Wait a minute, while we’re making the deals, let’s put these two countries together, let’s save a lot of lives,’ and it was easy, because we have all the cards.”