U.S. President Donald Trump (R) answers reporters' questions during a photo opportunity with Prime Minister Of Denmark in the Oval Office at the White House March 30, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla

Trump believes Middle East peace process may not be ‘difficult’

Last week, Donald Trump told Reuters, “I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians. There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians – none whatsoever.” There are, of course, all kinds of reasons standing in the way of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It’s one of the most difficult diplomatic challenges on the planet.

The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, 5/3/17, 11:01 PM ET

Trump: Middle East peace 'maybe not as difficult' as people think

Meeting at the White House with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Pres. Trump sounded really confident about a peace deal despite the fact the issue has eluded presidents for decades.
Meeting at the White House with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Pres. Trump sounded really confident about a peace deal despite the fact the issue has eluded presidents for decades.
The comment, however, was apparently a reflection of the amateur president’s genuine beliefs. In fact, he reiterated the sentiment yesterday during a White House appearance with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Trump offered himself as a “mediator, arbiter or facilitator” to help reach a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, but said, “Any agreement cannot be imposed by the United States or any other nations.”

Despite the decades of failed efforts to achieve a lasting peace in the region, Trump said his administration has a “very, very good chance” to get it done.
The American president added that he’s heard “that perhaps the toughest deal to make” is the one between Israelis and Palestinians, but Trump is confident. Indeed, he added, in reference to the peace process, “It’s something, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”

This is consistent with how Trump sees so many issues: there have been intractable challenges facing leaders for generations, but those problems weren’t resolved because previous U.S. presidents, in his mind, were idiots.

But as we recently discussed, this is poised to join Trump’s “it turns out” list.

Circling back to our previous coverage, the “it turns out” list, of course, is the growing collection of issues and policy areas in which Trump took firm positions based solely on assumptions he made out of ignorance, only to change his mind after being introduced to information the rest of us already knew.

Trump thought being president would be easy, but “it turns out” to be profoundly difficult. Trump thought the NATO alliance is obsolete, but “it turns out” to have value. Trump thought China had the power to pull North Korea’s strings, but “it turns out” to be a far more complex dynamic. Trump thought overhauling America’s health care system would be practically effortless, but “it turns out” to be “complicated.”

Now Trump, for reasons he hasn’t explained, believes peace between Israelis and Palestinians may not “as difficult as people have thought.” We can almost hear the “it turns out” coming.