Real estate mogul Donald Trump is no longer just in the running to become president of the United States, he has also reportedly been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, according to Agence France Presse (AFP).
The French news agency recently received confirmation of Trump's nomination from Kristian Berg Harpviken, the director of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. According to Harpviken, the Nobel committee received a letter (whose author has not been revealed) nominating Trump for his "vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China."
MSNBC has reached out to the Nobel Foundation to confirm these reports, but has not heard back at this time.
According to the Nobel website, the "qualified nominators" can be former prize winners, national assemblies and governments, professors, members of international courts and other esteemed bodies. A person cannot nominate themselves, so if you were thinking the infamously self-confident Trump put himself forward, guess again. The nominators are not made public, but the nominees -- which are supposed to be kept secret for 50 years -- often are leaked. For instance, Pope Francis is widely viewed as a front-runner this year. Trump's competition also reportedly includes Nadia Murad, a woman who has been an advocate for ISIS rape victims, and Denis Mukwege, a Congolese surgeon who treats the victims of sexual violence.
Throughout his bid for the presidency, which began last summer, Trump has been widely criticized for rhetoric perceived as anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. He has proposed building a "beautiful" wall to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the U.S. and has also proposed a temporary ban on Muslims emigrating to the country until we can "figure out what's going on" with ISIS. He also has a long history of being criticized for remarks deemed sexist and racist by many Americans. Prior to his polarizing run for the presidency, Trump was best known for his reality television stardom and multi-billion dollar real estate empire, not his contributions to world peace.
In the past, several less-than-illustrious figures have been put forward as nominees. Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin, Josef Stalin and Rush Limbaugh are just a few of the individuals who have received consideration over the years. Even Adolf Hitler once received a nomination, although it was allegedly done as a symbolic act of protest against the appeasement tactics embraced by British Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain in 1939.
Trump's actions have provoked ire both domestically, and abroad, with the British parliament recently debating a petition to ban the presidential candidate from traveling to their country. Proponents of the petition have accused Trump of inciting racial hatred. Ironically, this sentiment has been echoed by 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, who called out the candidate's rhetoric as "full of hatred, full of this ideology of being discriminative towards others," in an interview with AFP last December.
“I can just highlight one thing. The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create," she added in a separate interview with Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.
The Nobel Foundation sends out thousands of letters to qualified nominators asking for submissions by its Feb. 1 deadline. Although the nominees are not officially named, the number of them are. In 2015, according to the Nobel website, 273 nominees -- some individuals, others organizations -- were put forward. From that pool a short list is prepared by mid-February and that will be reviewed by advisors in the summer.
A final Nobel laureate gets selected in October and the prize is officially awarded in December, which means if Trump somehow falls short with his presidential ambitions he has a longshot hope at a big consolation prize.