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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 08, 2018 7:20 pm

Messer envisions Nobel Peace Prize for Trump

Three men seeking the Republican nomination for an Indiana seat in the U.S. Senate are fervent supporters of President Donald Trump. But one of them might have upped the ante.

U.S. Rep. Luke Messer said Thursday that Trump should receive the Nobel Peace Prize if North Korea were to give up its nuclear weapons.

"If North Korea talks lead to concrete action, President Trump should be well on his way to his own Nobel Peace Prize," Messer, R-6th, said in a statement. "North Korea is signaling for the first time a willingness to discuss disarming its nuclear capabilities. If this happens, it would be a direct result of President Trump’s strong leadership and decisive action toward the brutal North Korean tyrant."

Messer was referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the target of Trump administration sanctions and Trump's taunts. South Korea and North Korea engaged in diplomatic talks this week, with South Korean envoys saying North Korea is prepared to negotiate with U.S. officials on denuclearization and normalizing relations.

Messer contended that former President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 "for being a charming presidential candidate. If North Korea disarms, President Trump's Nobel Peace Prize would be well deserved."

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said in 2009 that it awarded its Peace Prize to Obama "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons."

Messer's Republican rivals also weighed in on Trump this week. Jasper businessman Mike Braun said Thursday that he supports Trump's announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and Rep. Todd Rokita, R-4th, said Wednesday the Trump administration "is absolutely right" for filing a lawsuit alleging that California laws protecting undocumented immigrants from deportation are unconstitutional.