People should not insist on “nailing” president-elect Donald Trump into positions he had taken during the campaign, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said today as he underlined that the billionaire businessman had “absolutely no baggage” of the past. “Trump is a determined president. The President-elect who is making a transition from being a chief campaigner to being national strategist,” the 93-year-old foreign policy guru said on his recent meeting with the billionaire real estate tycoon who was elected the 45th US president in the November 8 elections, the most divisive in American history.
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“The President-elect is the most unique that I experienced in one respect. He has absolutely no baggage,” Kissinger told CNN’s ‘Fareed Zakaria GPS’ aired on Sunday. He has no application to any particular group because he has become a President on the basis of his own strategy and the programme he put before the American public,” Kissinger, who has long been the Republican Party’s preeminent elder statesman on world affairs, in particular on the US relationship with China.
Asked on Trump describing China as a “currency manipulator” by the president-elect during his campaign,
Kissinger said, “I’m not the spokesperson of the president- elect.” At the same time, he said, “There’s impact of
globalisation and I wrote minor things about it earlier. Not enough attention was paid to the fact that it was bound to
have winners and losers and losers were bound to express themselves in some kind of political reaction,” he said.
“In my view in the present situation one should not insist on nailing him into positions he had taken in the campaign on which he does not insist. If he insists on them, then of course disagreements will be expressed. But if he develops another programme and leaves situation open, of what he said in the campaign one should not make dead the desired developments,” Kissinger, who was a top adviser to presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, said.
“I think we should give him (Trump) the opportunity to develop the positive objectives that he may have and discuss
those. And we have come through too many decades of daring incompetent administrations apart and it may happen again. But we shouldn’t begin that way and shouldn’t end up that way either. That would be my basic view,” Kissinger added.
According to an official statement from the president- elect’s team, Trump and Kissinger talked on Russia, China,
Iran and the European Union during their meeting in New York. “President-elect Trump and Dr. Kissinger have known each other for years and had a great meeting. They discussed China, Russia, Iran, the EU and other events and issues around the world,” the statement had said.
“I have tremendous respect for Dr. Kissinger and appreciate him sharing his thoughts with me,” Trump said, according to the statement. Trump’s conferring with Kissinger underscores not only how he is building relationships with Republican elders but how he leans toward a more realist view of international affairs, which has long been the bailiwick of Kissinger’s work,” The Washington Post had commented.