Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says President-elect Donald Trump could go down as one of the most consequential presidents in history due to the radical shift he represents from the established world order.
“I believe he has the possibility of going down in history as a very considerable president,” Mr. Kissinger said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
He said the power vacuum left by America’s withdrawal from the international stage under President Obama gives Mr. Trump the chance to craft a lasting foreign policy that breaks significantly from the status quo.
“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,” Mr. Kissinger said. “I’m not saying it will; I’m saying it’s an extraordinary opportunity.”
Mr. Kissinger, who met with Mr. Trump in New York shortly after the election, said the president-elect’s foreign policy will rely more on instinct than theory.
“I think he operates by a kind of instinct that is a different form of analysis as my more academic one,” Mr. Kissinger said. “But he’s raised a number of issues that I think are important, very important, and if they’re addressed properly, could lead to great results.”
He praised the billionaire businessman for diagnosing what ails America and running a successful campaign against the establishments in both political parties.
“In the first appearances, I thought it was a transitory phenomenon,” he said. “But I give him huge credit for having analyzed an aspect of the American situation, develop a strategy, carry it out against his leadership of his own party and prevail. Now his challenge is to apply that same skill to the international situation.”