The former secretary of state met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, during a turbulent moment for the White House that’s rich with historical echoes.
The day before, Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey, a move that many compared to President Richard Nixon’s 1973 firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, a key event in the Watergate scandal. And earlier on Wednesday, Trump had met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, calling to mind the policy of detente that Kissinger pursued under presidents Nixon and Ford. In fact, Kissinger has urged Trump to accept Russian claims on Crimea was a way of cementing ties with Russia, an indication that he too sees parallels between 1970s detente and Trump’s push for closer ties to Russia.
As Nixon became entangled in Watergate scandal, he found it increasingly difficult to manage foreign policy and offloaded the task to Kissinger. The secretary of state was even given control of America’s nuclear arsenal when Nixon went on long drinking binges and seemed unhinged. Could it be that Kissinger is returning to the White House to once again take command of the nuclear football?