Henry Kissinger ‘Confesses’ Surprise at Trump Victory, Says He Expected ‘Opposite Outcome’
Elder statesman Henry Kissinger elicited much laughter when he “confessed” on Wednesday night to having expected the “opposite outcome” in the previous day’s election.
At a World Jewish Congress (WJC) gala dinner in New York City – where the former secretary of state introduced Vice President Joe Biden, recipient of the organization’s Theodor Herzl Award – Kissinger quipped that he had prepared to begin his address by congratulating the honoree on “an ongoing administration.”
When he was originally invited to give the speech, he recounted, “I already had a commitment to go to another location,” he said, “But I felt the opportunity to show some solidarity between the different political groups in this country on this occasion was especially important,” he said.
But because, as he said, he had anticipated a different electoral result, “I had been prepared to pay tribute to the vice president for an ongoing administration.”
Kissinger went on to laud Biden, whom he said he first met over 40 years ago, when the latter was first elected to the Senate at the age of 30.
“I cannot say that the vice president reflected my views at that moment,” Kissinger said, referring to a debate on the Vietnam War, during which Kissinger held the position of top diplomat. “But what did happen was my sense that I was dealing with a senator and a human being of enormous compassion, of great commitment to the security and the freedom of the world.”
Kissinger concluded his address by invoking Nazi Germany, from which he said his family was fortunate to have escaped in time, explaining why his personal experience has made him particularly sensitive to the perils of fascism.
Connecting this to the necessity for a commitment to freedom, Kissinger called Biden “a friend of the Jewish people, not only because of his personal relationship with so many of them, but above all because he stands for the principles which will assure the survival and the development of the Jewish people and of the state of Israel, together with the other states in the region.”
As The Algemeiner reported, when Biden took to the podium, he referred directly to Trump’s victory.
“A number of my friends in the [Jewish] community are anxious about what it will mean for America’s commitment to Israel,” he said. “I stand here to tell you that I have no doubt, none whatsoever, that in the Trump administration there will be no diminution of support as a consequence of this transition. Even if the new administration were inclined to reduce the commitment, which it is not, Congress would never let it happen; the American people would never let it happen.”
Biden was honored at the WJC event, along with actor Kirk Douglas, for their “contributions to the well-being of Israel and the Jewish people.”