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In an official statement released on Thursday, President Biden comments on the death of Henry Kissinger, offering condolences to his family and sharing his own personal remembrances, which differ vastly in tone from the majority of the reactions that flooded the internet on Wednesday when the news of the former Secretary of State's passing first circulated.
“I’ll never forget the first time I met Dr. Kissinger," Biden writes. "I was a young Senator, and he was Secretary of State—giving a briefing on the state of the world. Throughout our careers, we often disagreed. And often strongly. But from that first briefing — his fierce intellect and profound strategic focus was evident."
Going on to discuss what he recalls of Kissinger's life after he retired from government, Biden furthers, "He continued to offer his views and ideas to the most important policy discussion across multiple generations. Jill and I send our condolences to his wife Nancy, his children Elizabeth and David, his grandchildren, and all those who loved him.”
According to The Hill, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters not to read into the delay in Biden’s statement, and he similarly called Kissinger’s death a “huge loss.”