President Donald Trump has previously raised his unrecognized qualifications for the Nobel Peace prize. However, for those of us watching the rally last night in Ohio, one statement sent us furiously typing on our computers and googling the latest news from the Nobel committee. Trump referred to just hearing that the Ethiopian Prime minister would receive the prize and noted the unfairness since he was the one who made the deal. In fact, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the prize last year in October and there is no evidence that Trump played a key role in his peace negotiations to end the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
You can watch the statement here. The President declared “I made a deal. I saved a country. And I just heard that the head of that country is now getting the Nobel Peace Prize for saving the country. I said, ‘What? Did I have something do with it?’ Yeah. But you know, that’s the way it is. As long as we know, that’s all that matters.”
Trump may have been thinking of his offer to help forge a deal between the Ethiopian prime minister and Egypt’s prime minister over a dam on the Nile. However, there is no indication of a role on Eritrea.
The comment also produced even more backlash since the President just a couple days ago was suggesting that he would commit the war crime of bombing Iranian cultural sites before walking back on that statement. Trump has also been denounced for insisting that you would allow torture as U.S. policy in the past. That is also a war crime.
The comments at the rally left many confused, particularly the Ethiopians.
By the way, Abiy also released political prisoners, restored core civil liberties and carried out a host of reforms.