Get used to seeing “Donald Trump” and “Nobel Prize” in the same sentence.
The campaign to award a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize to the current president — regularly criticized for delivering personal attacks on Twitter — is heating up, following news of this week’s historic summit between North and South Korea that could mark the first step toward denuclearizing the peninsula.
Thanks to the tentative progress being made on the Korean peninsula, at least one British bookie has predicted that Trump has favorable odds of winning a Nobel this year — and some of Trump’s top defenders are falling in line.
“After North Korea triumph Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, not Obama,” declared a Fox News op-ed published on Friday.
Some of Trump’s aides told reporters they think the thaw between North and South Korean leaders should put the president in the running for the top peace prize. At least a few members of Congress agree: Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hasn’t ruled out the possibility, and Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) is renewing his effort to convince his colleagues to support nominating Trump for a Nobel Prize, a cause Messer has championed since March.
“Following this historic announcement, President Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize. Our peace through strength strategy is delivering never before seen results,” Messer said in a statement released Friday.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham is on board, too. “Unlike Obama, he actually deserves the Nobel Peace Prize,” she tweeted on Friday morning.
When will we see the headline: “Trump Ends the Korean War”? Unlike Obama, he actually deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. @realDonaldTrump
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) April 27, 2018
On the episode of Ingraham’s show that aired Friday night, she amped up the rhetoric even further, saying that Trump “has to be almost a shoo-in for the Nobel” and praising his foreign policy instincts as “phenomenal.”
She added that even Trump’s harshest critics will have to acknowledge the “tough rocket man talk on the sanctions with North Korea made a difference.”
Notably, even among Ingraham’s conservative panel — which included Messer, a former Trump campaign adviser, and a policy expert from the Heritage Foundation — there wasn’t universal agreement about Trump’s foreign policy bona fides.
Riley Walters, a policy analyst for Asia Economy and Technology at The Heritage Foundation, politely suggested that some of Trump’s isolationist policies — such as imposing harsh tariffs on imported goods — are sparking too much backlash among countries which would typically operate as U.S. allies on crucial matters of international diplomacy.
“We end up hurting our friends and allies, like Japan and those in the EU who would be supportive of us — in a contingent and with national security concerns, one of those things,” Walters said. “The purpose of the tariffs itself were to address national security and even the arguments made by the administration during the initial implementation were shoddy at best.”
“Shoddy? What are you talking about?” Ingraham shot back. “This is where conservatives drive me crazy.”
Other members of Ingraham’s panel on Friday hewed closer to her perspective. Michael Pillsbury, a former Trump campaign adviser and China hawk, suggested to her that Trump’s leadership perhaps “has earned two Nobel Peace Prizes.”
The Trump administration’s foreign policy aims have been largely incoherent. Though it’s still too early to say what will come of this week’s historic summit — and what role Trump may have played in facilitating it — some experts have recently criticized his bombastic approach to North Korea as counterproductive to the United States’ diplomatic goals. Meanwhile, Trump recently picked two hawks to join his administration — Mike Pompeo and John Bolton — who have touted the need for “regime change” in North Korea, signaling a potential escalation in U.S. aggression.