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Conversation: 246-007

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Start Date: Wednesday, April 7, 1971 5:16 PM

End Date: Wednesday, April 7, 1971 7:00 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Laird, Melvin R.Rogers, William P.Kissinger, Henry A.Ziegler, Ronald L.Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")White House operatorHughes, James D. ("Don")

Recording Device: Old Executive Office Building

Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 01:29:54

Full Tape Conversation End Time: 03:14:33

246a.mp3

246b.mp3

246c.mp3

246d.mp3

NARA Description:

On April 7, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon, Melvin R. Laird, William P. Rogers, Henry A. Kissinger, Ronald L. Ziegler, H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, White House operator, and James D. ("Don") Hughes met in the President's office in the Old Executive Office Building from 12:16 pm to 2:00 pm. The Old Executive Office Building taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 246-007 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 246-7

Date: April 7, 1971
Time: 12:16 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Executive Office Building

The President met with Melvin R. Laird, William P. Rogers, and Henry A. Kissinger

     John D. Ehrlichman and George P. Shultz

     Vietnam
          -Admiral Thomas H. Moorer
               -Conversation with Laird
          -Richard M. Helms
          -National Security Council [NSC]
               -Vice President Spiro T. Agnew
               -General Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
                                   13

               NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                           Tape Subject Log
                              (rev. 9/08)



-Jacob K. Javits
      -Story in Washington Post, April 7, 1971
            -Republicans
      -Withdrawal from Vietnam
-North Vietnamese
-Troop withdrawals
      -Military’s reaction
      -President’s position                               Conv. No. 246-5 (cont.)
-Negotiations
-Timing
      -Kissinger
-John Sherman Cooper’s call to Kissinger, April 6, 1971
      -Troop withdrawal
            -Timing
            -Prisoners of War [POWs]
-Jack R. Miller’s approach
-POWs
      -Negotiations
-Possible Congressional action
      -President’s options
      -Draft bill
            -Status
      -John C. Stennis
      -Withdrawal date
            -Possible effects
            -Discussions
            -Options
      -Laird’s forthcoming testimony
      -Military’s reaction
-President’s forthcoming speech April 7, 1971
-National mood
      -President’s forthcoming speech
-Congress’ role
            -Vietnamization program
      -Troop withdrawals
      -World Wars I & II, Civil War
-Troop withdrawals
      -Rate
      -President’s forthcoming announcement
            -Military operations
            -Message to Ellsworth F. Bunker
                  -General Nguyen Van Thieu
                                           14

                        NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                   Tape Subject Log
                                      (rev. 9/08)



                    -Thieu’s conversation with Bunker
                    -Troop withdrawals
                    -Rate
                    -Thieu
                    -President’s message to Nguyen Cao Ky
                          -NSC
              -Withdrawal rate
                    -Bunker                                          Conv. No. 246-7 (cont.)
              -Laird’s conversation with Thieu, Bunker, General Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.
              -Following announcement
              -President’s forthcoming announcement
                    -Official comments
              -North Vietnamese military capability
                    -Laos
                    -Cambodia
                    -United States’ military dispositions
                    -Troop withdrawals

    Latin people


******************************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 1
[Privacy]
[Duration: 17s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 1

******************************************************************************


    Vietnam
         -Troop withdrawals
               -Military’s reaction
               -President’s policies
               -Cambodia
               -Views of Cooper, Frank F. Church, Javits
         -Moorer’s comments regarding Edmund S. Muskie, Edward M. (“Ted”) Kennedy
         -President’s forthcoming speech
               -Television
                                              15

                           NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



                -Charts

Ronald L. Ziegler and members of the press entered at 12:49 pm

     President’s schedule
          -Latin ambassadors
          -Photo session
                                                                    Conv. No. 246-7 (cont.)
     President’s forthcoming speech
          -Preparation of speeches

Ziegler and the members of the press left at 12:50 pm

     Time magazine

     Vietnam
          -President’s forthcoming speech
                -Chart
                -John F. Kennedy
                     -US military presence
          -Congress
                -Republicans
                -Democrats
                -Vietnamization
                -Comments
                     -Carl B. Albert
                -Foreign policy making
                -Responsibility
                -Possible actions
                     -Draft bill
                     -Dr. David K. E. Bruce
                     -Negotiations
                     -POWs
                     -President’s responsibility
                -Albert, Charles M. Teague, Gerald R. Ford

     Congress
         -Clark MacGregor’s views
         -Revenue sharing
         -Government reorganization
         -Laird’s forthcoming conversation with Ehrlichman and Shultz
                                             16

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)



     Vietnam
          -Troop withdrawals
               -Agreement with President
               -Joint Chiefs of Staff
               -Lieutenant William L. Calley, Jr.

Rogers and Laird left at 1:00 pm
                                                                      Conv. No. 246-7 (cont.)
           -President’s forthcoming speech April 7, 1971
                 -Charts
                       -Additions
                             -Troop withdrawals
                             -Dates
                 -Woods’ revisions
                 -Possible changes
                       -Troop withdrawals
                 -US casualties
                 -Forthcoming enemy activity
                       -Rogers’ views
                 -Possible changes
                 -Kissinger’s forthcoming briefing
                       -Topics
                       -Casualties
                       -Air sorties
                       -Possible press questions
                       -POWs
                       -Laird’s possible reaction
                       -Residual force
                             -Laird’s view
                       -POWs
                             -United States’ policy
           -Possible Congressional action
                 -President’s comments to Laird
                       -President’s responsibilities
                 -Donald H. Rumsfeld’s comments in staff meeting, April 7, 1971
           -Javits
           -Charles H. Percy
                 -Political ambitions
           -Laird, Rogers
                                             17

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



[H. R. (“Bob”) Haldeman talked with the President between 1:15 pm and 1:16 pm]

[Conversation No. 246-7A]

     President’s schedule

[End of telephone conversation]
                                                                     Conv. No. 246-7 (cont.)
     Vietnam
          -Support of President’s policies
               -Laird and Rogers
     Rogers
          -Foreign Service


******************************************************************************

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 4
[National Security]
[Duration: 29s ]


     FOREIGN AFFAIRS


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 4

******************************************************************************


          -Views regarding Vietnam

Haldeman entered at 1:20 pm

     Vietnam
          -President’s forthcoming speech April 7, 1971
                -Changes
                -Preparation
                     -Woods

     MacGregor
                                             18

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



     Rumsfeld
         -Relations with the New York Times and Washington Post
         -Tenure in office
         -Forthcoming trip to Europe with Robert H. Finch
         -Role with administration
         -Comments in staff meeting April 7, 1971
              -Vietnam
                                                                       Conv. No. 246-7 (cont.)
     Vietnam
          -President’s forthcoming speech April 7, 1971
                -Kissinger’s forthcoming briefings
                      -Robert B. Semple, Jr., Chalmers Roberts, Joseph W. Alsop
     President’s schedule
          -Unknown newsman

     Karl (“Skipper”) Taylor, Jr.
           -Nickname “Skipper”

[Pause]

     Vietnam
          -President’s forthcoming speech April 7, 1971
                -Content
                     -Shirley Taylor, sons Karl and Kevin
                -Possible effect
                     -Laird, Rogers

Kissinger left at 1:30 pm

                -Poll
                -President’s policy
                      -Calley

[Pause]

                      -Opinion Research Corporation [ORC]

[The President talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 1:20 pm and
1:30 pm]

[Conversation No. 246-7B]
                                            19

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



     Call to Major General James D. (“Don”) Hughes

[End of telephone conversation]

     Vietnam
          -Polls
                -President’s policy
                      -Calley                                    Conv. No. 246-7 (cont.)

[The President talked with Hughes between 1:30 pm and 1:31 pm]

[Conversation No. 246-7C]

     Sergeant Karl Taylor
          -Medal of Honor citation

[End of telephone conversation]

     Vietnam
          -Polls
                -Results
                -Calley
                      -Elmo Roper
                      -Claude Robbins [sp?]
                      -George H. Gallup
                           -Dwight L. Chapin
                -President’s policy
                      -Troop withdrawals
                      -ORC
                      -National Broadcasting Corporation [NBC]

[Hughes talked with the President between 1:36 pm and 1:37 pm]

[Conversation No. 246-7D]

     Medal of Honor citation

[End of telephone conversation]

     Vietnam
          -Polls
                -ORC
                                           20

                       NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                   Tape Subject Log
                                      (rev. 9/08)



              -Democratic caucus
              -President’s policy
              -Gallup
                    -Withdrawal issue
                    -Forthcoming demonstrations
        -Forthcoming demonstrations
              -Possible administration response
        -Polls                                                        Conv. No. 246-7 (cont.)
              -National mood
              -Laos, Cambodia
              -Calley
              -Possible effect of President’s forthcoming speech April 7, 1971
              -Calley
                    -Ehrlichman, Shultz
                    -Son Tay raid
                    -General Douglas MacArthur

Laird
        -Conversation with President
             -Haldeman’s forthcoming conversation with Ehrlichman
        -Stanley R. Resor
             -Tenure in office
             -Possible replacement
                   -Robert F. Froehlke
             -Haldeman’s forthcoming conversation with Laird, April 8, 1971

Vietnam
     -Public opinion on withdrawal
     -President’s forthcoming speech April 7, 1971
           -Kissinger
     -Calley

Revenue sharing
    -President’s conversation with Ehrlichman
          -Congress
    -Program problems
    -Presentations
          -Edwin L. Harper, Shultz
    -Slogans
    -Domestic Council
    -Laird’s possible meeting with Ehrlichman and Shultz
    -Presentation
                                        21

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 9/08)




Vietnam
     -Emmett Dedmon’s comment
     -Polls
           -Calley
           -Haldeman’s conversation
                 -[Forename unknown] Derge [sp?]
                 -Haldeman’s conversation with Thomas Veneman Conv. No. 246-7 (cont.)
           -Calley
           -President’s policy
           -President’s forthcoming speech, April 7, 1971
           -Timing
           -Polls
           -Forthcoming call to unknown pollster
                 -Chapin
                 -Derge
                 -Polls

Revenue sharing
    -Ehrlichman and Shultz
    -Selling administration’s program

Briefings
      -Length
           -Kissinger, Ehrlichman, Shultz
           -Points
           -John B. Connally
           -Paul W. McCracken

Vietnam
     -Polls
           -Disclosure

Rumsfeld
    -Role with administration
    -Finch
    -Comments in staff meeting April 7, 1971

Peter G. Peterson

Vietnam
     -Polls
                                              22

                           NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)



                -Possible release
                -Timing
                -President’s forthcoming speech April 7, 1971
                -Effect
                      -Military services
                      -Views of Douglas L. Hallett and Patrick J. Buchanan
                -Lyndon B. Johnson
                -Calley                                                 Conv. No. 246-7 (cont.)

     Domestic Council
         -Shultz
         -Public relations
               -Ehrlichman
               -Herbert G. Klein
               -Edward L. Morgan

     Public relations
          -President’s personality
                 -Connally’s views

     Revenue sharing
         -President’s conversation with Laird
               -Ehrlichman, Shultz

     President’s schedule
          -Briefing April 8, 1971
          -Media

Haldeman left at 2:00 pm