Did I know about this? several readers have asked. Yes, it’s an old story, though CNN says it has “just been released by the State Department historian.”
On one of the few occasions I was in Dr. Kissinger’s presence, I took the opportunity to ask him a thing I had been wondering since reading that book by Mao’s physician — the one that goes into detail about Mao’s rather … idiosyncratic personal habits.
Me: “Dr. Kissinger, there’s a thing I’ve been wondering for some years about your meeting with Mao Tse-tung. Did he smell?”
Dr. K: “I beg your pardon? Smell?”
Me: “Yes, smell. I mean, did you notice any body odor?”
Dr. K, after a pause for recollection: “No, I can’t say I was aware of anything like that.”
(Andy McCarthy, who was within earshot, looked at me rather strangely and said: “That’s what you’ve been wondering all these years?” Yes, Andy, that was what I’d been wondering.)