Did Henry Kissinger Say These Things About Donald Trump?

A viral Facebook post falsely attributed several quotes to the former secretary of state.

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Image via JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images

Claim

A Facebook post accurately reproduces Henry Kissinger's thoughts on Donald Trump's presidency.

Rating

Mostly False
Mostly False
About this rating
What's True

Henry Kissinger did share some predictions regarding a Donald Trump presidency in an interview he gave shortly after the 2016 election.

What's False

Several quotes in a viral Facebook post were not Kissinger's but were taken from other sources.

Origin

Former National Security Adviser and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger served under the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford from 1969 to 1977, and he (controversially) shared the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize for his part in helping to negotiate a ceasefire and a withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam.

In the years since then, Kissinger has continued to offer his viewpoints on global affairs through published opinion pieces and interviews, including an appearance on the CBS News program “Face the Nation” on Dec. 18, 2016.

During that interview, Kissinger ventured some opinions about the recently concluded U.S. presidential election and President-elect Donald Trump:

 
A few of Kissinger’s comments about Trump were subsequently replicated in more recent Facebook posts bearing titles such as “Henry Kissinger’s take on Trump” and “94 yr old Kissinger takes on Trump,” which opened as follows:

Kissinger is now 94 years old.

Recently, Henry Kissinger did an interview and said very amazing things regarding President Trump. He starts with:

“Donald Trump is a phenomenon that foreign countries haven’t seen before”!

The former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gives us a new understanding of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy and predicts its success:

“Liberals and all those who favor (Hillary) Clinton will never admit it. They will never admit that he is the one true leader. The man is doing changes like never before and does all of it for the sake of this nation’s people. After eight years of tyranny, we finally see a difference.”

Kissinger knows it and he continues with:

“Every country now has to consider two things:

One, their perception that the previous president, or the outgoing president, basically withdrew America from international politics, so that they had to make their own assessments of their necessities.

And secondly, that there is a new president who’s 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.”

As the transcript shows, Kissinger did say “Donald Trump is a phenomenon that foreign countries haven’t seen.” He also described what foreign countries would have to consider under a Trump presidency:

KISSINGER: 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, because every country now has two things to consider, one, their perception that the previous president or the outgoing president basically withdrew America from international politics, so that they had to make their own assessment of their necessities, 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.

However, all the rest of the text of those Facebook posts was a mixture of various political opinions and quotations scraped from other sources and falsely attributed to Kissinger. The former secretary of state didn’t call Trump “the one true leader” or say he “puts America and its people first,” nor did he maintain that Trump was “talking about 13 issues that most Americans are concerned about.”

This was a variation of a similar claim we rated “False” in 2018.

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Sources

CBS News.   “Face the Nation Transcript December 18, 2016: Conway, Kissinger, Donilon.”
    18 December 2016.