Donald Trump met in the Oval Office on Thursday with 17 prominent survivors of religious persecution from around the world, including 2018 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Nadia Murad. Murad survived the 2014 ISIS campaign of genocide against the Yazidi religious sect to become a global activist against the use of sexual violence in war, according to the Nobel Prize official site.
When the 26-year-old Murad told Trump her horrifying story, including how ISIS murdered her entire family and dumped their bodies in a mass grave, Trump expressed an emotionally flat, seemingly bored reaction. This drew a stunned response from observers, including one Washington correspondent who called Trump’s non-reaction “unreal” on Twitter.
Another Twitter user commented, “There is something deeply, deeply wrong with this man.”
Murad spoke directly to Trump, pleading with him to provide aid to the historically persecuted Yazidi people, who remain displaced from their ancestral homeland five years after the ISIS genocide and now face further oppression elsewhere. But, as the French Press Agency reported, Trump appeared to be “unfamiliar with the work and cause of Nobel laureate.”
In fact, Trump appeared to perk up only when he asked Murad about her Nobel Peace Prize, a prize won in 2009 by President Barack Obama and that Trump has appeared to covet ever since. According to a Reuters report, Trump believes that he deserved the Nobel for his meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un last year.
WATCH: Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize recipient from the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq, talks to Pres. Trump in Oval Office about the plight of her people, and asks him to apply pressure on Iraq and Kurdistan governments to help them: “We cannot find a safe place to live.” pic.twitter.com/LrNfc1JEEX
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 19, 2019
Instead, in 2018 the Nobel Peace Prize was shared by Murad and Congolese physician Denis Mukwege, per the Mukwege Foundation site, who is also a leading campaigner against sexual violence as a weapon of war.
As seen in the video above, Murad told Trump that ISIS “killed my mom, my six brothers,” only to have Trump ask her, bizarrely, “Where are they now?”
Murad went on to explain, per The Independent, that “they are in the mass graves in Sinjar,” referring to the town in Iraq that had been home to thousands of Yazidi before the ISIS genocide.
Trump did, however, appear intensely interested in Murad’s Nobel Prize, asking the world-renowned activist, who has testified before the United Nations alongside famed human rights attorney Amal Clooney, “They gave it to you for what reason?”
At that point, Murad largely repeated the story she had just finished telling.
“His reaction to her is a combo of jealous over a prize he wants and not really listening disdain,” wrote BBC commentator Amee Vanderpool on her Twitter account.
Carnegie Endowment policy analyst Karim Sadjadpour said via Twitter that the exchange with Murad displayed Trump’s “sociopathic inability to empathize,” and called the episode “embarrassing.”