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What Kissinger Has Said About Trump


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A post circulating on Facebook wrongly attributes several quotes about President Donald Trump to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.


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Henry Kissinger has had a hand in shaping U.S. policy for decades, starting even before he was named secretary of state in 1973.

Since Donald Trump was elected president, the former diplomat has met with Trump multiple times, and he has made some veiled comments about what he thinks of  Trump and his administration. But there’s no evidence Kissinger called Trump “the one true leader,” or said he “puts America and its people first,” as a popular post circulating on Facebook claims.

The post, which has been copied and reposted several times, features a picture of Kissinger and a long block of text that attributes several bogus quotes to him. Two of the quotes, however, are accurate (or close to accurate) representations of what Kissinger said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Dec. 18, 2018.

The first quote in the post is almost word for word what Kissinger said:

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

In the CBS News interview, Kissinger said:

Kissinger, Dec. 18, 2016: Donald Trump is a phenomenon that foreign countries haven’t seen. So it is a shocking experience to them that he came into office.

The Facebook post also accurately quotes what Kissinger said after that:

Facebook post: “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.”

Kissinger’s remarks from that part of the interview were:

Kissinger, Dec. 18, 2016: 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.

But the other three quotes in the Facebook post appear to have been fabricated. They weren’t made in his CBS News interview or in any other public remarks that we could find.

We found no evidence Kissinger said:

Facebook post: “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.”

Or that Kissinger was quoted as saying this:

Facebook post: “Trump puts America and its people first. This is why people love him and this is why he will remain in charge for so long. There is not a single thing wrong with him and people need to open their eyes.”

Or that Kissinger “so boldly” made this statement about Trump:

Facebook post: “Trump is the one true leader in world affairs and he is forcing policy changes that put America first!”

So, two of the quotes are close to correct. But the rest appear to have been made up.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on the social media network.

Sources

U.S. Department of State. Office of the Historian. Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Henry A. (Heinz Alfred) Kissinger (1923–). Accessed 12 Apr 2019.

President Trump Meeting with Henry Kissinger. C-SPAN. 10 Oct 2017.

Face the Nation. “Extended Interview: Henry Kissinger.” CBSnews.com. 18 Dec 2016.

Trump, Donald (@realDonaldTrump). “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Twitter. 2 Jan 2018.

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A Facebook post attributes several quotes about President Donald Trump to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019