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#Republican lawmakers mourn American diplomat Henry Kissinger

Reactions poured in on Wednesday from several Republican lawmakers over the death of former diplomat and presidential adviser Henry Kissinger, with tributes highlighting the former statesman’s legacy on foreign policy.

Kissinger passed away at his home in Connecticut on Wednesday at the age of 100.

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said Kissinger’s contributions to U.S. foreign policy and global diplomacy are “immeasurable.”

“A refugee of Nazi Germany, WWII veteran, and Nobel recipient—his life was one of a kind. As a confidant to multiple presidents, he was one of the most consequential figures of the 20th century,” Johnson wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“Kissinger was a statesman who devoted his life in service to the United States, and should be remembered for his efforts to ensure global peace and freedom abroad,” the Speaker continued.

Kissinger became former President Richard Nixon’s national security adviser in 1969, where he conducted negotiations to settle the war in Vietnam and helped normalize relations between the U.S. and China.

While serving as Nixon’s national security adviser in 1973, Nixon appointed Kissinger as the 56th secretary of state, making him the first person ever to serve as both the secretary of state and a national security adviser at the same time.

He remained Secretary of State during the Ford administration until the end of former President’s term in 1977.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Kissinger “served his nation well” and “was a valuable adviser” to former presidents.

“What an incredible life – born in Germany and emigrating to the U.S., serving in the U.S. military during WWII, playing a major role on the world stage for decades, and earning respect and admiration from a wide array of people and nations,” Graham wrote in an X post.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) shared a similar message, writing on X, “Only in America could a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany become one of the nation’s foremost statesmen and civil leaders.”

Kissinger, born in 1923 in Germany, immigrated to the United States with his family, who is Jewish, in 1939 in the wake of the Nazi’s seizure of power. Once in America, Kissinger served in the U.S. army as a German interpreter during World War II.

Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said Kissinger will be remembered for several things, notably “how his diplomatic efforts changed the world.”

“Working as a translator, he helped catch Gestapo members and was awarded a Bronze Star,” Bacon wrote on X. “His influence will remain for many years to come.”

“A man of keen insight and sage advice; the gold standard for foreign policy,” Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) wrote on X, adding Kissinger’s global influence is “enshrined in history.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) added, “there are few public servants who had such a consequential impact on American foreign policy,’ adding later that his legacy will “live on for generations to come.”

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) both echoed these sentiments, with Blackburn pointing out Kissinger’s “undeniable legacy.”

Kissinger’s influence in foreign policy continued past his time in the White House and State Department.  Appointed by former President Reagan in 1982, Kissinger chaired the the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America, and later served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Reagan and former President George H.W. Bush.

He’s released several books in his lifetime, including his most recent,  “Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy,” published in 2022.

Kissinger is survived by his wife, Nancy Maginnes Kissinger, and his two children, Elizabeth and David, from his first marriage.

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