Amid a flurry of bad news last week, President Trump got a brief reprieve Wednesday: a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on peace in the Middle East. White House officials were quick to laud it.

“I don’t know if anyone else has a record similar, and so he should get the prize,” national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Wednesday.

“This is a big deal and it’s well-deserved,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Wednesday. “You cannot deny what has happened on President Trump’s watch.”

White House economic advisers Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro even used the news to sidestep questions on other issues.

“One of the things I’d like to do before we get started though, is I’d really like to congratulate President Trump on being nominated for the peace price, the Nobel Peace Prize,” Navarro said Sunday after briefly discussing the Trump administration’s coronavirus response.

That White House officials touted the nomination is not surprising, especially given that much of Trump’s campaign rhetoric has failed to resonate with voters. But the context of the nomination is equally significant.

Trump was nominated by the same far-right Norwegian politician who nominated him in 2018, and the Nobel Committee accepts all nominations from politicians serving at a national level. In years past, this has meant former presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson have been nominated for (and won) the prize, but has also led to peace prize nominations for Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

On Sunday, Trump referenced his nomination:

“They nominated your president twice last week on two different subjects for a Nobel Prize, but the fake news media didn’t cover it,” Trump told rallygoers in Nevada.

This was the same Trump who more than six years before asked the Nobel Committee to retract the peace prize awarded to his predecessor, Barack Obama.