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Donald Trump: Nobel laureate?

Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Little Rock, Ark., on Feb. 3. (Photo: Tony Gutierrez/AP)
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign took a beating in Iowa earlier this week, but his bruised ego should be healing nicely with the news that the real estate tycoon has apparently been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

During his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination so far, Trump’s foreign policy platform has included promises to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, crack down on trade with China and “bomb the s*** out of ISIS,” as well as a proposed ban on all Muslim travel to the U.S.

The latter, in particular, has earned Trump international scorn. And yet, the AFP reported Monday that the belligerent billionaire is being considered for the most prestigious international accolade, alongside the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, American whistleblower Edward Snowden, Pope Francis and residents of the Greek islands who have welcomed thousands of refugees to their shores. 

The AFP report cites Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of Oslo’s Peace Research Institute and avid Nobel watcher, who said he’d received a copy of Trump’s nomination letter. 

Harpviken has declined to reveal the name of the person who submitted Trump for the Nobel Committee’s consideration, but he wrote on the Peace Research Institute’s website that he’d confirmed the nomination with the letter’s U.S. author, who wrote that Trump should get the prize for “his vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China.” 

Harpvikan told the U.K.’s Telegraph that he received a copy of the letter from the anonymous nominator himself and that “the nominator has a position which gives him the right to nominate, and that I consider it valid.” According to the Nobel Foundation rules, qualified nominators for Peace Prize contenders include government officials, professors, directors of foreign policy institutes and peace research organizations, former Nobel laureates, members of international courts and members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. 

Though Harpvikan said he has “committed not to reveal the identity of the nominator,” the Telegraph suggested it was probably a U.S. politician who put Trump’s name in the running. 

It is the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s policy to keep the official nominee list a secret, which is why Olav Njølstad, director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, told Newsweek he could “neither confirm nor disconfirm” Trump’s nomination. 

Those who nominate, however, are free to disclose their picks. Harpvikan’s organization publishes an annual list of confirmed Nobel nominees as well as a shortlist for potential winners. 

That list does not include Trump, who will likely join the list of history’s most unexpected Nobel nominees, which includes Russian President Vladimir Putin, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

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