Kissinger on Trump: "Transitory Phenomenon" and "Shocking Experience" Could Go "Down in History as a Very Considerable President"


Henry Kissinger, a former national security advisor and former secretary of state, discusses President-elect Donald Trump on "Face the Nation." Here are some select quotes from the interview.

"I had not thought of President Trump as a presidential candidate until he became a presidential candidate. And in the first appearances, I thought it was a transitory phenomenon. But I give him huge credit for having analyzed an aspect of the American situation, the available strategy, carried it out against the leadership of his own party, and prevailing. Now his challenge is to apply that same skill to the international situation."

"Donald Trump is a phenomenon that foreign countries haven't seen. So it is a shocking experience to them that he came into office. At the same time, extraordinary opportunity. And I believe he has the possibility of going down in history as a very considerable president."

"And secondly, that here is a new president who is asking a lot of unfamiliar questions. And because of the combination of the partial vacuum and the new questions, one could imagine that something remarkable and new emerges out of it. I'm not saying it will. I'm saying it's an extraordinary opportunity."

"A president has to have some core convictions. He can't get those from advisers. But, he also cannot possibly know everything. It's in the nature of the presidency that most of the people you meet want something. So, to get objective advice is hard. But that depends very much on the personality of the president."

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