NEW YORK: Donald Trump met Wednesday with influential former secretary of state Henry Kissinger in New York, US media reported.
Trump’s motorcade swept into a smart apartment complex in Manhattan to take the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to a meeting with the 92-year-old architect of US foreign policy in the post-World War II era, TV channels and reporters said.
Representatives for Kissinger and Trump did not immediately response to requests for comment.
Serving Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the 1970s, Kissinger was pivotal in forging detente with China, the signing of arms control agreements with the Soviet Union and negotiating an end to the Vietnam War.
He has remained influential in contemporary politics, and not just to Republicans. Democratic White House frontrunner Hillary Clinton has in the past called him friend and counsel, to the derision of her challenger Bernie Sanders.
In an interview last December, Kissinger told Fox Business that he would urge Trump not to follow through on a pledge to ban Muslims from entering America and that he would be more comfortable with another Republican nominee.
Trump’s reported meeting with Kissinger comes as the brash New York billionaire seeks to carve out a more presidential image ahead of the general election, woo Republican party grandees and burnish his leadership credentials.
Last week he met former secretary of state James Baker, who served Republican president George H.W. Bush and who has publicly criticized Trump’s foreign policy proposals.
Kissinger’s name is synonymous with “realpolitik” — diplomacy based on power and practical considerations.
Admirers compare him to great statesmen like Otto von Bismarck and Winston Churchill but critics consider him a war criminal, pointing to his role in expanding the Vietnam war, supporting Chile’s 1973-1990 military dictatorship and allowing Indonesia’s bloody invasion of East Timor in 1975. AFP