The Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump is expected to meet Henry Kissinger in New York Wednesday, in what is widely seen as an effort by Trump to boost his foreign policy credentials, according to a report first made in the Washington Post. It would be Trump’s first face-to-face meeting with Kissinger, who advised former presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford on international affairs.
Citing unidentified people close to Trump, the Post reported Monday that the two men had been speaking over the telephone for weeks ahead of Wednesday’s planned meeting.
Trump has courted controversy with his foreign policy comments, such as wanting to build a wall along the border with Mexico or calling traditional ally Saudi Arabia “world’s biggest funder of terrorism.” He also called for a rethink of NATO, as well as for Japan and South Korea to consider getting nuclear weapons for self-defense.
The presumptive Republican nominee seems to be firming up his foreign-policy expertise. He met James Baker III — another former Republican secretary of state — during a trip to Washington, D.C., last week. On the day of the meeting, Baker told a congressional hearing that Trump’s foreign policy proposals would contribute to global instability.
Kissinger has been a go-to foreign policy veteran for Republican hopefuls, such as Sarah Palin — who met him in 2008 — and Mitt Romney — who reportedly spoke with him over the phone in 2012. During his time in active politics, Kissinger had been a controversial figure for the U.S. foreign policy he helped shape.
Kissinger won the 1973 Nobel Prize for peace along with Vietnamese Le Duc Tho for negotiating a ceasefire during the Vietnam War, which later collapsed. He is also credited with contributing to the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with the then-U.S.S.R., as well as negotiating Nixon’s visit to China in 1972. However, he is considered to be responsible for U.S. policy of supporting anti-democratic regimes in various countries in Asia and South America because they shared the U.S. opposition to Moscow and Beijing.