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Conversation: 475-016

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Start Date: Thursday, April 8, 1971 2:18 PM

End Date: Thursday, April 8, 1971 3:07 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Kissinger, Henry A.Woods, Rose MaryMoorer, Thomas H. (Adm.)Bull, Stephen B.Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")Nixon, Richard M. (President)Kissinger, Henry A.Woods, Rose MaryMoorer, Thomas H. (Adm.)Bull, Stephen B.Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")

Recording Device: Oval Office

Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 01:24:25

Full Tape Conversation End Time: 02:18:18

475-016.mp3

NARA Description:

On April 8, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon, Henry A. Kissinger, Rose Mary Woods, Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, Stephen B. Bull, and H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman met in the Oval Office of the White House from 9:18 am to 10:07 am. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 475-016 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 475-16

Date: April 8, 1971
Time: 9:18 am - 10:07 am
Location: Oval Office

The President met with Henry A. Kissinger

     President’s speech on Southeast Asia, April 7, 1971
          -Reaction to staff
                -Donald H. Rumsfeld

[The President talked with Rose Mary Woods at an unknown time between 9:18 am and 9:37
am]

[Conversation No. 475-16A]


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

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 1
[Personal Returnable]
[Duration: 32s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 1

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[End of telephone conversation]

     Staff meeting

     Kissinger’s schedule
          -Briefing of columnists

     Kissinger’s possible call to Shirley Taylor
          -Public comments
                                              13

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



[Admiral [Thomas H. Moorer] talked with the President at an unknown time between 9:18 am
and 9:37 am]

[Conversation No. 475-16B]

     President’s speech on Southeast Asia, April 7, 1971
          -Reaction
          -Senate and House “doves”                                      Conv. No. 475-16 (cont.)
          -Military
          -Marvin L. Kalb
          -Left wingers
          -Atrocity stories

[End of telephone conversation]

          -Moorer’s call to Kissinger, April 7, 1971
               -Woods
               -Praise for the President
          -Kissinger’s New York friends
          -Nelson A. Rockefeller
               -Comments
          -Rockefeller family
               -Kissinger’s meeting with David Rockefeller
               -Kissinger’s conversation with John D. Rockefeller, III
               -Wealth
               -N. A. Rockefeller’s support for President

     Congress
         -Support for President in House and Senate
         -Gerald R. Ford
         -Carl B. Albert
         -Robert C. Byrd
               -Prisoners of War [POW] issue
                     -Democratic Caucus report
                     -Troop levels
                     -POW “trade”

     People’s Republic of China [PRC] invitation to US Ping-pong team
          -Significance
                                         14

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                    (rev. 9/08)



H. R. (“Bob”) Haldeman
     -Location
     -Schedule

Staff and Cabinet
      -Kissinger and Haldeman
      -John D. Ehrlichman
            -Pressures                                        Conv. No. 475-16 (cont.)
            -Family
      -Ehrlichman and Haldeman
      -Robert H. Finch
      -Kissinger’s conversation with Taft Schreiber
            -Finch
      -Finch
            -Response to speech

President’s speech on Southeast Asia, April 7, 1971
     -Length
     -Conclusion
     -Reaction
           -General Alexander M. Haig, Jr. and Kissinger
     -President’s bearing
     -Unknown woman friend of Kissinger
     -Reaction
     -President’s bearing
           -Foreign policy researcher for N. A. Rockefeller
     -Creative aspects of speech
           -President’s own idiom
     -Kissinger’s evaluation
     -Kissinger’s conversation with unknown Harvard University professor
           -Reaction
     -Kissinger at Harvard University
     -Cabinet and staff
     -Unknown Harvard University professor
           -Reaction
     -Responsibility
           -President as commander-in-chief
           -Congress
     -Withdrawal from Vietnam
           -Consequence of early departure
                                          15

                      NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                  Tape Subject Log
                                     (rev. 9/08)



     -Doves
          -Residual force in South Vietnam
                -Figures
          -US policy
     -Draftees in Vietnam
          -James L. Buckley
          -US Army
                                                           Conv. No. 475-16 (cont.)
Lieutenant William L. Calley, Jr.
     -Birch E. Bayh, Jr.’s criticism of President
     -Doves reaction
     -Country’s reaction
     -President’s role in case
           -Review

President’s speech on Southeast Asia
     -Unknown Georgia Republican’s call to Kissinger
           -Calley
           -Response to President’s speech

Vietnam
     -American people’s desire for victory
           -”Right wing” point of view
     -Definition of a US victory
           -Save South Vietnam
     -President’s speech on Southeast Asia
           -Impact on negotiations

Press questions to Kissinger
      -Television commentators and commentary
      -Laos
      -Cabinet statements on combat in Vietnam
            -Melvin R. Laird and William P. Rogers
            -Inconsistency with White House statements
      -Number of combat troops
            -Reduction
      -Combat mission changing
            -Defensive
      -Withdrawal date
      -Air sortie figures
            -Press reaction
                                             16

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 9/08)



               -Reporting
                     -Washington Post
               -Instructions to Kissinger
                     -Kissinger’s comments to Albert
                     -[Distribution to members of Congress]
          -Questions
               -Air sorties
               -Killing of civilians                              Conv. No. 475-16 (cont.)
               -Substitution of Asians for Americans
          -Reporters
               -[Forename unknown] MacGavern [sp?] of Chicago Sun-Times
                     -Criticism of speech
          -Ronald L. Ziegler
               -Press bias
          -MacGavern [sp?]
          -Kissinger’s reply to press
               -Accomplishments by President in withdrawal program and in military situation
                     in Vietnam since July 1, 1969

[The President talked with Stephen B. Bull at an unknown time between 9:18 am and 9:37 am]

[Conversation No. 475-16C]

     President’s call to Haldeman

[End of telephone conversation]

     President’s speech on Southeast Asia
          -Writing press
          -Commentaries
                -Kalb and Dan Rather
                -Unknown Pentagon correspondent
                -John W. Chancellor
          -Television briefing

Haldeman entered at 9:37 am

     White House staff and Cabinet
          -President’s frustration
          -Haldeman and Kissinger
          -Ehrlichman
          -John B. Connally
                                             17

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                       Tape Subject Log
                                          (rev. 9/08)



           -Support for administration’s Vietnam policy
           -Support in future campaign
           -Butterfield and Bull
           -Opposition
                 -[Establishment, Washington Post, news magazines, television, Congress]
                       -Need to get tough
           -Charles W. Colson
           -President’s speech on Southeast Asia                      Conv. No. 475-16 (cont.)
           -Praise for Kissinger and Haldeman’s support

     Charts on casualties
          -Use in briefings
          -President’s possible uses
          -Talking points

Kissinger left at 9:41 am

     Kissinger’s forthcoming memorandum
          -Circulation to spokesmen, Congressmen, Senators, editors

     President’s speech on Southeast Asia
          -Chart used in speech
                -President’s evaluation
                -Line
                -Lettering
                -Mark I. Goode
                -William H. Carruthers
                      -Schedule
                -President’s conversation with Goode
                      -Importance of chart
                -Television crew
                -Dwight L. Chapin
                -Goode
                -Understanding problem
                -Connally
                      -Evaluation
          -President’s movements
                -Chart
          -Connally
          -Chart
                -Impact
                                       18

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 9/08)



     -Columbia Broadcasting System [CBS]
          -Rather
          -Troop withdrawals
                -Timing
                -Figures
          -Use of television images
                -Illustration of soldier
                -Troop withdrawals                        Conv. No. 475-16 (cont.)
     -Chart
          -Picture/chart contrasted
          -Rogers’ use
          -Goode, Haldeman, and Butterfield
          -Rogers’ chart
                -Picture of a soldier
     -Camera work
          -Evaluation
                -Praise
          -Difficulty
          -White House coordination with producers
                -Goode
          -Producers’ view
          -Haldeman’s view
          -Goode

Dinner for W. Clement Stone, April 8, 1971
     -Receiving line versus mingling
     -Attendees
           -Number
     -Announcements
     -Table
     -President’s remarks
           -Location
     -Press coverage

President’s speech on Southeast Asia
     -Poll
     -Telephone calls
           -Priority calls

Meeting with Peter G. Peterson
     -Opening remarks for briefing
                                               19

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



Bull entered at an unknown time after 9:41 am
           -Arrangements for forthcoming briefing [domestic briefing for Administration wives,
                 April 8, 1971]

     President’s schedule
          -President’s instructions to Bull
          -Instructions for Peterson [for forthcoming meeting of Council on International
                Economic Policy, April 8, 1971]                       Conv. No. 475-16 (cont.)

Bull left at an unknown time before 10:07 am

     Moral support for President by staff
         -Reflection of country
         -Lack of use for weak men
         -Haldeman and Kissinger
         -Ehrlichman
         -White House staff
               -Rumsfeld
               -Clark MacGregor
                     -Kissinger’s attitude
                     -Congress
                           -Ford
                     -Administration’s spokesman
                     -Effectiveness

     Haldeman’s staff meeting
          -Kissinger
          -Response of staff
          -Evaluation
          -Backup
          -Bombing and casualty reductions
          -Charts
          -Dwight D. Eisenhower
          -Graphs
               -Use in revenue sharing speeches

     George P. Shultz
                                            20

                        NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                    Tape Subject Log
                                       (rev. 9/08)



Congress
    -House
         -Education bill
         -Ford

Polls
        -President’s performance
              -Approval rating                               Conv. No. 475-16 (cont.)
                    -Figures
        -President’s speech on Southeast Asia
              -Audience
                    -Figures
              -Favorable/unfavorable reaction
                    -Figures
        -President’s Vietnam policy
              -Approval/disapproval ratios
              -Political make-up of respondents
              -Gender of respondents
              -Approve/disapprove
        -Calley
              -Bayh
        -Opinion Research Corporation [ORC] poll
        -Calley
              -Instructions to Haldeman to publicize poll
        -George H. Gallup poll
        -Current standing
              -Figures
        -Calley poll
              -Publicity
              -Circulation to Congress
              -Ehrlichman and Robert A. Taft, Jr.

Taft
        -MacGregor
        -Colson

Polls
        -ORC poll
              -Figures
        -Gallup poll
              -Circulation
        -President’s speech on Southeast Asia
                                         21

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                    (rev. 9/08)



Haldeman’s conversation with Colson

Calley issue
     -Taft
     -President’s conversation with Ehrlichman
           -Captain Aubrey M. Daniel
     -Possible strategy
     -Letter to President                                 Conv. No. 475-16 (cont.)
     -Stanley R. Resor
           -Possible letter to Daniel
     -President’s possible conversation with Laird
     -White House handling

President’s speech on Southeast Asia, April 7, 1971
     -Connally’s reaction
     -Press reaction
           -Ending
           -CBS analysis
           -American Broadcasting Company [ABC]/National Broadcasting Company
                 [NBC]
     -Telephone responses
     -Telegrams
     -Compared with November 3, 1969 speech
           -Silent majority
           -Telegrams
           -Emotional appeal
     -Possible demonstrations
     -Peace groups
           -John W. Gardner
     -Reassurance to followers
           -Finch and Rumsfeld
           -Opponents
     -Delivery, presentation
     -Charts
           -Rogers’ chart
           -Kissinger
                 -Department of Defense
           -Rogers
           -Effects
     -Telephone calls
     -Editorial reactions
     -”Hawks”
                                              22

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 9/08)



          -President’s supporters
          -Laos
          -Vietnam
          -Casualties
                -Compared with 1970
                -Decline since 1969

     Kissinger’s conversation with Shirley Taylor                    Conv. No. 475-16 (cont.)

     Taylor family
          -Response to speech
          -Kevin Taylor
          -Karl (“Skipper”) Taylor, Jr., and daughter
          -Family watching speech on television
          -S. Taylor’s comments
                -Sergeant Karl Taylor
                      -Comments about Vietnam War
                -Visit to White House
          -Kevin Taylor
          -Story in newspaper
                -Kevin Taylor
          -Press play
          -Kevin Taylor’s salute
          -S. Taylor

Haldeman left at 10:07 am