President Donald Trump claimed Monday that he deserves a Nobel Prize for “a lot of things” but complained that the committee that hands out the awards does so unfairly.
The comment came during a bilateral meeting in New York with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan after Trump said he was “ready, willing and able” to mediate between India and Pakistan in a decades-old dispute over the territory of Kashmir.
“If you can solve this outstanding issue of Kashmir, very likely and definitely you’ll be deserving a Nobel Prize,” a Pakistani journalist told Trump.
“I think I’m going to get a Nobel Prize for a lot of things, if they gave it out fairly, which they don’t,” Trump said.
He also alluded to former president Barack Obama’s 2009 Nobel Prize, which the Norwegian Nobel Committee said was in recognition of work on nuclear nonproliferation and creating a “new climate” in international relations.
“They gave one to Obama immediately after his ascent to the presidency, and he had no idea why he got it,” Trump told reporters in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. “You know what, that was the only thing I agreed with him on.”
Trump has previously suggested he should be considered for a Nobel Prize for his efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
Tensions in Kashmir have flared since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi moved last month to strip the territory of its autonomy and send additional troops to the majority-Muslim region after attacks by separatists that India maintains are sponsored by Pakistan.
“I have a very good relationship with Prime Minister Modi,” Trump told reporters in New York. “I have a very good relationship with Prime Minister Khan. And if at any time they say, you know, we have some points we think you can maybe iron out, I think I’d be an extremely good arbitrator.”
Trump and Modi appeared together Sunday at a rally in Houston intended to celebrate the Indian diaspora.
(c) 2019, The Washington Post · John Wagner