'Absolutely shameful': Trump slammed for asking Yazidi activist Nadia Murad 'You had the Nobel Prize?'

President Donald Trump hosted survivors of religious persecution from 17 countries around the world, including, at left, Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad in the Oval Office at the White House July 17, 2019. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is under fire — this time, for video of an exchange with Yazidi activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, who visited the White House on Wednesday to ask for America’s help in saving her people, an oppressed Iraqi ethnic minority group. Critics online are slamming Trump for his seeming indifference to her pleas for help, and for only showing interest in why she won the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Nadia Murad tells the president of the United States her heartbreaking story of having to survive genocide and mass rape and violence but Trump shows no compassion, interest or empathy, and only wants to know how and why she won a Nobel Prize. Sigh,” journalist Mendi Hasan tweeted.

In circulating footage of Trump’s brief meeting with Murad and other survivors of religious persecution, Murad pleads with Trump to help the Yazidi people return home after a mass genocide at the hands of ISIS.

After explaining the conflict between the Kurdish and Iraqi government that has prevented the Yazidis from returning to their homeland, Trump asks Murad to repeat the details of the struggle again.

“But ISIS is gone?” Trumps questions, interrupting Murad. “Now it’s Kurdish and who?”

Murad clarifies who is involved and appears frustrated at reiterating why she and other Yazidi people need help, “If I cannot go to my home and live in a safe place and get my dignity back, it’s not about ISIS,” the 26-year-old activist tells Trump. “It’s about I’m in danger. My people cannot go back.”

When explaining the mass genocide of the Yazidi people, including the murder of her own mother and six brothers, Trump interrupts her yet again to ask where her family members are now. Incredulous, Murad replies, “They killed them. They are in the mass grave in Sinjar.”

Trump then turns away from Murad as she once again pleads for American aid, “I’m still fighting just to live in safety. Please do something.”

After the president says he will “look into it very strongly,” he then asks her to explain how she got the Nobel Prize in the first place — an honor he believes he deserves for his work on North Korea and Syria.

“And you had the Nobel Prize? They gave it to you for what reason? Maybe you can explain,” Trump asked Murad, who reluctantly explains.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 17: U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad of Iraq while he hosts her and other survivors of religious persecution from 17 countries around the world in the Oval Office at the White House July 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. The survivors are in Washington to attend a State Department conference on religious freedom. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

People have now been taking to Twitter to call Trump “shameful” for the lack of compassion shown towards Murad throughout their meeting. Some were critical of Trump’s body language, including how he repeatedly turned his back on the Yazidi activist, simply nodded without making eye contact, and interrupting her to clarify things she had already stated.

“This man lacks any capacity for empathy or feeling for the suffering of other human beings. Look this woman in the f***ing eye dude,” one user tweeted. “She doesn't care about her Nobel Prize you asshole, she wants to go back home and keep her people safe. Outlandish.”

Critics also point out that, despite being seemingly disinterested throughout their conversation, Trump appears fixated on how she won the Nobel Peace Prize, and appeared to know nothing about Murad before meeting with her.

“Nadia Murad tells President Trump her mother & six brothers were killed...,” one user tweeted. “His final response is not ‘I’m sorry’ or encouragement, he asks how he can win the Nobel.”

However, users were quick to shut down Trump’s aspirations for the prestigious honor, including actress Rosanna Arquette.

“Well there is one thing we can be sure of Donald trump will Never receive the Nobel peace prize he so covets,” Arquette tweeted.

Although Murad, 26, gave the president a very terse explanation of her activism, Murad did not convey the horrors or bravery of the journey that earned her the prestigious award: After ISIS kidnapped her and 6,500 Yazidi women and children, Murad became a sex slave who was raped on a daily basis. She escaped from ISIS in November 2014, and has since made it her mission to lobby world leaders to recognize — and condemn — how sexual assault and rape are used as weapons of war around the world, and to fight for the safety of the Yazidi.

A recent documentary by RYOT (which shares parent company Verizon Media with Yahoo), On Her Shoulders, follows Murad’s tireless work to bring “ISIS before the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.” The activist was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, along with Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, becoming the first Iraqi person and the second-youngest honoree to take home the prestigious award.

“For after all this happened to me I didn’t give up. This was the first time a woman from Iraq got out and she spoke about what happened,” Murad told Trump of why she was awarded the Nobel. “I escaped but I don’t have my freedom yet.”

See more reactions to Trump’s meeting with Nadia Murad below:


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