Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger says Donald Trump has a personality that has "no precedent in modern American history,” but warned critics not to judge the president-elect based on his campaign rhetoric.
“International debate should be over evolving American policy, not over campaign rhetoric,” Kissinger said Sunday at the Nobel Peace Prize forum in Oslo.
"Before postulating an inevitable crisis, an opportunity should be given to the new administration to put forward its vision of international order," he noted.
Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric during the 2016 presidential campaign made many US allies from Europe to Asia concerned about their future relations with Washington.
Trump called NATO an “obsolete” alliance and raised doubts over whether the US under his command would assist a NATO ally under attack.
He also suggested that Japan and South Korea should obtain nuclear weapons to boost their ability in deterring regional rivals like North Korea.
Kissinger pointed out a number of challenges that may lead to conflicts during Trump’s presidency, specifically the growing tensions between the US and China and the breakdown of relations between Russia and the West.
The veteran diplomat said the US leadership has always been influential in shaping the world order and expressed hope that Washington will continue to maintain that tradition.
“I hope and believe that in the decades ahead, the United States will continue to fulfill its history and tradition of building world peace.”
Trump and Kissinger met at least twice this year; once during the presidential campaign in May and the second time after the Republican’s victory in the November 8 election.
In an interview with CNN last month, Kissinger described Trump as the “most unique” presidential figure in his lifetime and urged Americans to give him a chance.
Trump will take office on January 20 as the 45th US president.