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Conversation: 456-005

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Start Date: Tuesday, February 23, 1971 3:05 PM

End Date: Tuesday, February 23, 1971 4:30 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")Butterfield, Alexander P.[Unknown person(s)]Ehrlichman, John D.Ziegler, Ronald L.Kissinger, Henry A.Sanchez, ManoloWhite House operator

Recording Device: Oval Office

Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 00:06:47

Full Tape Conversation End Time: 01:42:30

456a.mp3

456b.mp3

456c.mp3

NARA Description:

On February 23, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon, H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, Alexander P. Butterfield, unknown person(s), John D. Ehrlichman, Ronald L. Ziegler, Henry A. Kissinger, Manolo Sanchez, and the White House operator met in the Oval Office of the White House from 10:05 am to 11:30 am. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 456-005 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 456-5

Date: February 23, 1971
Time: 10:05 am - 11:30 am
Location: Oval Office

The President met with H. R. (“Bob”) Haldeman

     Foreign trade policy
          -Peter G. Peterson
          -Administration policy
                -Coordination
                -William P. Rogers and Henry A. Kissinger

     Kissinger


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

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 10
[Privacy]
[Duration: 12s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 10

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


          -General Alexander M. Haig, Jr.
          -Admiral Thomas H. Moorer
          -Melvin R. Laird
          -Press conference on Laos
                -News summary
          -Cabinet meeting
          -Briefings

     The President’s schedule
          -Governors’ conference
               -Laos briefing
                      -John D. Ehrlichman
                      -President’s view
                                              4

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)




Alexander P. Butterfield entered at an unknown time after 10:05 am

     Vietnam
          -Military developments
                -Reports
                     -Leak

Butterfield left at an unknown time before 10:25 am

     Economy
         -Troika meeting
         -Arthur F. Burns’ statement
         -President’s memo
               -Dissemination
               -Action
         -Haldeman’s conversation with Burns
               -Burns’ statements on confidence
                    -Effect
                          -Stock market

     Appointments
         -President’s view
               -Retired businessmen
               -Retired officers

     Open Hour
         -Need for accurate reporting
               -Butterfield and Ronald L. Ziegler
                     -Color reports for press
                           -Role of staff reporter
                           -John B. Waters, Jr.
                           -John R. (“Jack”) Williams, Jr.
               -Taping system
                     -Butterfield
                     -Transcripts
                           -President’s orders
                     -Butterfield’s role
               -President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
                     -John K. Andrews, Jr.
                     -James H. Van Alen
                           -President’s conversation with Van Alan
                                             5

                        NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)



                                -Publicity
               -James Udall
    Press report
          -Vietnam incident

    Public statements
         -Murray L. Weidenbaum
                -Revenue sharing                                  Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)
                     -Possible compromise
         -John B. Connally
                -Maurice H. Stans
         -Departmental competition
                -Administration policy

    The President’s schedule
         -Cabinet officers
         -Staff dinner
         -Radio speech
         -Forthcoming White House Governors’ dinner
               -Leslie T. (“Bob”) Hope
                     -Gifts

    Kissinger
         -Role in Middle East


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

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 4
[Privacy]
[Duration: 30s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 4

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


         -Haig
         -The President’s conversation with Moorer, February 22
         -Vietnam
              -Paris Peace Talks
                                            6

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                    Tape Subject Log
                                       (rev. 9/08)



                -Conversation with Anatoliy F. Dobrynin
                -Paris Peace Talks
          -Staff meetings
                -Rogers, Laird, and Connally
          -Strategic Arms Limitation Talks [SALT]
                -Rogers’ view
                -Kissinger’s view
                -Soviet view                                        Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)
                -Berlin
                -Middle East
          -Rogers/Kissinger relationship
          -National Security Study Memorandum [NSSM]
                -Need for coordination
                -Number
                -Laird and Rogers’ participation
          -Kissinger role
                -Kissinger/Rogers relationship
          -SALT
                -Joseph C. Kraft story
                      -Policy differences
                      -State of World message
                      -William H. Sullivan
                      -Leak
                -Need for Administration response
                      -Forthcoming call to Rogers
                      -Effect
          -State of the World message
                -SALT

[The President talked with an unknown person at an unknown time between 10:05 am and 10:25
am]

[Conversation No. 456-5A]

     Request that Ehrlichman join them

[End of telephone conversation]

     Kissinger
          -Abraham Lincoln
          -Press image
               -Kissinger’s role
                                              7

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)



                    -President
               -Laird and Rogers

     The President’s schedule
          -Governors’ conference
               -Possible briefing on Laos operation
               -Governors’ concerns
               -Publicity                                              Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)

     Media reports
         -Dennis Warner’s article
         -[Forename unknown] Crawford
         -Crosby S. Noyes
         -Dissemination
               -Herbert G. Klein
               -Robert J. Dole
         -New York Times article on revenue sharing

Ehrlichman entered at 10:25 am

               -Administration response
                     -President’s position
                     -Comments to governors
               -Weidenbaum’s testimony
                     -Ehrlichman’s conversation with Weidenbaum
                           -Hubert H. Humphrey
                     -Connally’s role
                     -Rationale
                     -Substance
                     -The President’s meeting with Wilbur D. Mills
               -President’s conversation with Connally
               -Ehrlichman’s conversation with Nelson A. Rockefeller
                     -Comments by the President
                           -Alternatives to revenue sharing bill
               -Connally’s forthcoming talk to governors
               -Ehrlichman’s comments
          -Reaction to the President’s programs
               -Rockefeller
                     -John Briggs
                     -The President’s commitment to revenue sharing
                     -Precedents
                                                  8

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)




     Governors’ conference
         -The President’s forthcoming talk
               -Content
                     -Domestic issues
                     -Laos
                     -Vietnam
                     -Focus of conference                          Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)
         -Preston Smith
               -Welfare costs proposal
               -Rockefeller’s reaction
               -John V. Lindsay
                     -Forthcoming lawsuit
               -President’s comments
                     -Welfare reform
                     -Revenue sharing
                     -Ehrlichman’s comments
         -Regional commissions
               -Administration policy
               -Edward L. Morgan
               -Connally
               -Democrats’ counter-proposal
               -Connally’s view
         -Media coverage of administration presentations
               -Weidenbaum
               -Ziegler’s role
               -President’s comments
         -Administration presentation
               -Connally’s view
               -Media briefings by Donald H. Rumsfeld and Ehrlichman
               -Media coverage
               -President’s view
               -Possible future press briefing
                     -Ziegler
               -Computer printout
                     -Revenue sharing

Ziegler entered at 10:41 am

                -Media coverage
                     -Statements
                -Tone and style of presentation
                                             9

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



                     -Rumsfeld
                     -Ehrlichman

     Weidenbaum’s statement
         -Ziegler’s and Ehrlichman’s statements
     Wage and price controls
         -George P. Shultz
         -Administration’s options                                    Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)
         -Davis-Bacon Act
              -Effect

Ehrlichman and Ziegler left at 10:45 am

     Kissinger
          -Speeches
               -William L. Safire and Rogers
               -Burns
          -Relations with Rogers
               -Department of State
               -Access to the President
                     -Haldeman’s previous conversation with Rogers
                           -Haldeman’s and Rose Mary Woods’ roles
                           -Role of National Security Council [NSC]

          -Ecuadorean tuna boats
                -Dole
                -The President’s reaction
                -Rogers’ role
                      -Organization of American States [OAS]
                            -Resolution
          -Role and workload
                -Presidential involvement
                -Ambassador from Cyprus
                -Nicaraguan transistors
                      -Peterson
                -Use of NSC staff
                      -Compared to Domestic Council
                -Presidential involvement
                -Rogers
          -Information routing
                -Ehrlichman
                -Peter M. Flanigan
                                                10

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



                -Presidential involvement
          -Compared with Department of State personnel
                -Rogers
          -Role
                -Vietnam
                -Connally
[Haldeman talked with Kissinger at an unknown time between 10:45 am and 10:52 am]
                                                                    Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)
[Conversation No. 456-5B]

     Request that he join them in Oval Office

[End of telephone conversation]

     The President’s schedule
          -NSC meeting date
               -Attendance
                      -Frank J. Shakespeare
                      -Rogers

Kissinger entered at 10:52 am

                    -Connally
              -Timing
                    -Michael J. (“Mike”) Mansfield breakfast
                         -Carl B. Albert
                    -Cabinet meeting
                    -Preparation
              -Agenda
                    -Laotian situation
                         -Connally
              -Timing
                    -Dates
                         -Schedule conflicts
                    -Attorney General
              -Preparation
          -Morning meetings

Haldeman left at 11:05 am


     Vietnam military developments
                                             11

                         NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)



          -Death of General Do Cao Tri
                -Circumstances
                -Impact
                -Successor
                      -Ellsworth F. Bunker cable to Kissinger
                            -Competence of Tri’s successor
                                  -General Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.’s and Bunker’s view
          -General Nguyen Van Thieu                                     Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)
                -Nguyen Cao Ky
          -Cambodia operations
                -Developments
                -Tri
                -Leadership
                -Planning
          -Abrams
          -[Forename unknown] Davidson
                -Competence
          -General William C. Westmoreland
                -View of war
                      -Charles E. (“Chip”) Bohlen
                      -Moorer’s cable to Abrams
                      -Press stories
                            -Possible briefing
          -Military situation
                -Westmoreland’s view
                      -Army of the Republic of Vietnam [ARVN] competence
                -Bunker’s cable
                      -Effect in Saigon
                      -Abrams and Thieu
                            -Lam Son operation
                            -[Forename unknown] Southerland
                            -Lieutenant General Hoang Xuan Lam
                            -ARVN
                      -Public relations plan
                            -Briefing format
                            -Leaks to media

     Media coverage
         -Compared to civil war

Manolo Sanchez entered at an unknown time after 11:05 am
                                               12

                         NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)



     Book by Carl Sandburg
         -Civil War generals

Sanchez left at an unknown time before 11:30 am

     Media coverage
         -Newsweek story on the President
               -Joseph W. Alsop                                  Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)
               -President’s role
                     -European leader’s view
                     -Laos

               -Source
                    -Edward R. G. Heath
                    -Georges J. R. Pompidou
                    -Unknown Italian

     Vietnam
          -President’s view of news coverage
          -ARVN
                -Laotian operation
          -United States’ troop withdrawal
                -Time schedule
                -Conditions
                      -Release of Prisoners of War [POWs]
          -Visit by Haig
                -Laird’s view
                      -Abrams
                      -Kissinger’s position
                -Kissinger’s conversation with Dobrynin
                -President’s position
                      -Haig’s role
                -Bunker and Thieu
          -Peace proposal
                -Condition
                -Time schedule

     SALT
         -Dobrynin
              -Letter to Aleksei N. Kosygin from the President
              -Letter from Kissinger
              -Response
                                              13

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)



                     -Gerard C. Smith
                          -President’s view
          -Press reports
               -State of World message
                     -SALT section
                          -Kissinger
                          -Rogers
                                                                      Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)
[The President talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 11:05 am and
11:30 am]

[Conversation No. 456-5C]

     Call to Haldeman

[End of telephone conversation]

[The President talked with Haldeman at an unknown time between 11:05 am and 11:30 am]

[Conversation No. 456-5D]

     Leak in State Department
          -SALT section of speech
          -Ziegler
          -Effect on State of World message
          -Haldeman’s investigation

[End of telephone conversation]

     Berlin negotiations
          -Public relations
                -Leak to media
                      -Timing
                      -President’s role
                      -President’s position
                -Conclusion
                      -Timing
          -Message to [David] Kenneth Rush
                -The President’s role
                -Timing
                -Public relations
                                        14

                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 9/08)



SALT
    -Proposal
    -Smith and Rogers
         -New York Times editorial
         -Letter to Kosygin from the President
               -Smith’s reaction
               -Rogers’ reaction
               -President’s view                               Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)
               -Laird
               -Smith
         -Credit for negotiations’ success
         -Antiballistic Missile [ABM]
               -Laird
                     -Kissinger’s conversation with Laird
    Dobrynin
         -Letter to Kosygin from the President
               -Editing
                     -Changes
                          -Multiple Independently-Targeted Reentry Vehicles [MIRVs]

General Joseph Maurer
    -Civil War record
          -General William T. Sherman
          -General Ulysses S. Grant
          -Lincoln
    -Vietnam
          -Military objectives
                -ARVN troops

Vietnam
     -New York Times article
          -Laos action
               -ARVN troops
               -Tchepone
               -Ho Chi Minh Trail
               -Rationale
                     -Thieu’s position
                     -President’s view
               -ARVN troops
                     -Press accounts
          -Rowland Evans
               -Administration public relations
                                                15

                             NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



                       -The President
           -Laird’s statements
                 -Administration position
                       -Bombing
                       -ARVN
           -Air strikes
                 -Military situation
                       -North Vietnamese supplies                 Conv. No. 456-5 (cont.)
                       -Possible locations
                 -Possible statement
                       -Supplies
                       -Surface-to-Air Missile [SAM] sites
                       -Rationale

     Maurer

Kissinger left at 11:30 am