Donald Trump’s rambling press conference Feb. 15 to announce a “national emergency” on the US’s southern border touched on everything from the stock market to his relationship with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator.
One of the most surprising claims Trump made, however, was that Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize:
In fact, I think I can say this: Prime Minister Abe of Japan gave me the most beautiful copy of a letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel Prize. He said, “I have nominated you…” or “Respectfully, on behalf of Japan, I am asking them to give you the Nobel Peace Prize.” I said, “Thank you.” Many other people feel that way too. I’ll probably never get it, but that’s okay.
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?” With me, I probably will never get it.
Abe did indeed nominate Trump, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper reports, but there was a twist: The Japanese leader did it at the request of the White House. “The U.S. government ‘informally’ asked Tokyo to nominate Trump after he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June,” the paper reported, citing unnamed Japanese government sources. Abe was “acceding to a request from Washington” when he made the nomination last autumn, the paper said.
The list of people who can submit nominations for the Nobel Prize include current heads of state. “A nomination for yourself will not be taken into consideration,” the Nobel committee states.