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Conversation: 643-008

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Start Date: Monday, January 3, 1972 7:17 PM

End Date: Monday, January 3, 1972 8:07 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Colson, Charles W.[Unknown person(s)]Sanchez, ManoloHaldeman, H. R. ("Bob")Bull, Stephen B.

Recording Device: Oval Office

Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 00:21:27

Full Tape Conversation End Time: 01:11:33

643a.mp3

643b.mp3

NARA Description:

On January 3, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon, Charles W. Colson, unknown person(s), Manolo Sanchez, H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, and Stephen B. Bull met in the Oval Office of the White House from 2:17 pm to 3:07 pm. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 643-008 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 643-8

Date: January 3, 1972
Time: 2:17 pm - 3:07 pm
Location: Oval Office

The President met with Charles W. Colson.


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BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 1
[Personal Returnable]
[Duration: 49s ]


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                                             8

                         NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                    Tape Subject Log
                                      (rev. 10/06)
                                                                 Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


    The President's interview with Dan Rather, January 2, 1972
         -The President's preparation
              -Staff research
                     -The President's use
              -Questions
                     -Number anticipated
                     -Briefing book
                     -The President's previous effort
                     -Briefing book
                           -Vietnam and Cambodia
                           -The President's use
                           -Henry A. Kissinger
              -Questions
                     -Topics omitted
                           -India-Pakistan relations
              -Staff research
                     -Kissinger’s staff
                     -Quality
                           -Vietnam
                     -Compared to the President’s
                           -Economic questions
                                 -Points
              -Quality
              -Time


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BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 2
[Personal Returnable]
[Duration: 1m 12s ]

END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 2

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         -Colson’s schedule
         -Colson's viewing
         -Emotional aspect
         -Rather's performance
                                          9

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 10/06)
                                                                    Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


           -Call to H. R. (“Bob”) Haldeman
                 -Request to see the President
                       -The President's response
     -Briefing book
           -Patrick J. Buchanan
                 -Use of interviewer's first name
                       -Lyndon B. Johnson's practice
                       -The President's practice
     -The President's performance
           -Haldeman's view
           -Compared with unknown press conference
                 -John B. Connally's views
                 -Badgering by Rather
                       -The President's response
     -Tone
           -Lighting
           -The President's performance
     -The President's responses
           -Use of Rather’s first name
           -Rather's office and wife
           -Columbia Broadcasting System [CBS]

Rather
     -Importance of interview
     -Walter L. Cronkite, Jr. and [Arnold] Eric Sevareid
     -Mike Wallace
          -Letter to Kissinger
                 -Jews
                 -Feelings regarding selection of Rather for interview
                       -CBS’s decision
          -Political orientation
     -Selection for interview
     -Performance

The President's interview with Rather
     -Technical aspect
          -The President’s talk with Haldeman
                 -George P. Shultz's view
                 -William Carruthers
                 -Mark I. Goode
                 -Network's responsibility
                                       10

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                               Tape Subject Log
                                 (rev. 10/06)
                                                                Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


          -Camera angles
                -The President's appearance
                      -Staff meeting
                            -Colson’s view
                            -Shultz’s view
                -Tone
                      -Lighting
                      -Effect on Rather's appearance
     -Rather's performance
          -Preparation
          -Note cards
                -Reactions
     -Reactions
          -Calls by Harry S. Dent
                -Rather's performance
                -John K. Andrews, Jr.
                      -Rather’s aggressiveness
                -The President's performance
                      -Compared to his other television performances
                -Rather's hostility
                -Unnamed Florida National Committeewoman's views
          -Media hostility
                -Political people
     -Vice President Spiro T. Agnew
          -Possible reaction
          -Supporters' possible reactions
          -The President’s support
          -The President's response to question
                -Compared with Dwight D. Eisenhower's support of the President
                -Republican National Convention
                -Agnew’s performance
                      -Controversy
                -Significance
                      -Options

J. Edgar Hoover
     -Retention in office

Agnew
    -Retention in office
         -Forthcoming convention
                                              11

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                                   Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


                -Media speculation
                    -John B. Connally

     The President's interview with Rather
          -Question on 1968 bomb halt
               -The President's response
               -Political aspects
          -Glassboro summit
          -Press credibility
               -Rather's attitude
          -Public reaction
               -Calls to Rather's office
                      -Number
                      -Rather's secretary
                            -Reaction to complaints
          -Rather's supporters

An unknown man entered at an unknown time after 2:17 pm.

     Refreshment

     Manolo Sanchez
         -Location
               -Residence
         -Call to the President
               -White House operator

The unknown man left at an unknown time before 2:35 pm.

     The President's interview with Rather
          -Reactions
               -Calls and wires from White House
                      -Ronald L. Ziegler
                      -Gerald L. Warren
                      -DeVan L. Shumway
                            -Dealings with press
          -Colson's previous conversation with Louis P. Harris
               -Harris's letter to Rather
                      -Correction on quote of survey
                            -Context
                                  -The President's 1968 promises
                                       12

                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                Tape Subject Log
                                  (rev. 10/06)
                                                                 Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


                                 -Poll results
                -Copies to Rowland Evans and Robert D. Novak
          -Harris's view of program
                -The President’s performance
                      -Effectiveness
     -Audience
          -Size
                -Compared with "Christmas at the White House"
                -Nielson ratings
                      -New York audience
                -Compared with "A Day in the Life of the President"
                      -National Broadcasting Corporation [NBC] figures
                           -Ratings
                      -Simultaneous programming
                      -Advertising
                -Howard K. Smith interview
                      -Rating

"Christmas at the White House"
     -Rating
          -Increase over preceding program
     -Promotion

The President's interview with Rather
     -Reaction
          -Letters
                 -White House staff
                       -Leaks
                 -Non-government people
                 -[Opinion Research Corporation [ORC]] polls
                 -White House based letter campaigns
                       -Outcome
          -Rather's performance
                 -Compared with the President's performance
          -Political people
          -Accuracy in Media group
                 -Network
                 -Response
                 -Charles Crutchfield group
                       -CBS affiliates
     -Question on Agnew
                                          13

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 10/06)
                                                                  Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


     -Peace question
     -Vietnam
          -Bombing question
          -Troop withdrawal
          -News impact
               -Wires
     -News value
          -Walter R. (“Wally”) Meares [?]

Rather
     -Press conferences
           -Usual reporting of the President's demeanor
                 -Azores trip of December 1971
     -Feelings toward the White House and the President
           -Antagonism
           -Credibility
     -The President's response to question on press credibility
           -Rather's response
     -Incorrect reporting of unemployment rate
           -Correction
           -Damage
     -Possible press conference about the press
     -Questions regarding the press
           -The President's response
     -Contacts with White House staff
           -Colson
           -Other staff
     -Compared with Daniel L. Schorr

Schorr
     -Story on Connally
          -Veracity
                -Haldeman’s talk with Connally

Connally
    -Possible departure
    -Reaction after Texas election loss
         -Possible sources
               -Periscope
               -Newsweek
    -Importance to Administration
                                              14

                           NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                        Tape Subject Log
                                          (rev. 10/06)
                                                                Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


          -Possible pressures
          -Associates
               -Johnson

     The President's interview with Rather
          -Question on George C. Wallace
               -The President's response
                      -Democratic Party
                            -Primaries

Sanchez entered at an unknown time after 2:35 pm.

     Response to the President's call

Sanchez left at an unknown time before 2:54 pm.

     National economy
          -Time article
                -Timing
                -Length
                -Economic indicators
                -The President's predictions
                -Predictions by Board of Economists
                -Christmas sales
                -Tone
                -Advertising
                -1972 forecast
          -Conference Board's views
                -Growth rate
                -Unemployment rate
          -Time and Fortune
                -Bullish views
          -1971
                -New Economic Policy
                -Gross National Product [GNP] figures
                -Public psychology
                -Stock market
                -Consumer attitudes
                      -Media
          -Stock market
                -Figures
                                      15

                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                               Tape Subject Log
                                 (rev. 10/06)
                                                               Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


         -Increases
     -Media
         -Rather
         -Negative reports
               -Public attitudes
                    -The President's announcement of New Economic Program
               -Administration response
                    -Recent reports
                           -Tone
                           -Democrats
                           -Effects
                           -Issues
                    -August 1971 announcement
               -Albert E. Sindlinger poll

George Meany
    -Attacks on administration
         -Health
         -Impact
               -The President's speech at American Federation of Labor-Congress of
                     Industrial Organization [AFL-CIO] convention, November 19, 1971
         -Health
               -Possible death
                     -Timing
    -Federationist
         -Story and photographs on convention
               -Contacts with the President
                     -Escorting
                     -Shaking hands
    -Contacts with the President at convention
         -TV coverage
         -Editorials
               -Summary by Herbert G. Klein
               -Contents
                     -Support of the President
                          -The President’s note to Colson
                          -Themes

The President's schedule
     -Edwin D. Etherington
          -Colson’s role
                                            16

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                                     Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


                -Forthcoming dinner
                -Government support
                -Value of meeting
           -Henry E. Ford, II
                -Resignation

Haldeman entered at an unknown time after 2:35 pm.

                -Salary as chairman of National Center for Volunteer Action [NCVA]
           -Etherington

Colson left at 2:54 pm.

     Connally
         -Future plans
              -Colson's view
              -Newsweek story
              -Instructions for the White House staff
         -Haldeman’s recent meeting with Peter G. Peterson
              -Connally's trip to Azores
                    -Return
                          -Meeting with Peterson
                    -International agreement
                          -Connally's mood
                          -Connally’s position
                          -Press coverage
                          -Credit
         -Haldeman's responsibility
         -The President’s recent meeting with George P. Shultz
              -Appointment of woman to Council of Economic Advisors [CEA]
                    -Forthcoming call from Shultz
         -Value to Administration
         -Relations with White House staff
              -Shultz and John D. Ehrlichman
              -Junior staff

     State of the Union address
           -Raymond K. Price, Jr.
                 -California
                 -Draft
                       -Kissinger
                                               17

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                                   Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


                -The President’s schedule


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BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 5
[Personal Returnable]
[Duration: 3m 41s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 5

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Stephen B. Bull entered at an unknown time after 2:55 pm.

     The President's schedule
          -Forthcoming meeting with Ford and Etherington

     Unknown room
         -Cleanliness
              -TV crew
              -Responsibility
              -Janitors
              -Cigarette butts and trash
              -The President's meeting with Jack J. Dreyfus, Jr.
              -Custodial staff
                    -Schedule
              -The President's activities
              -Instruction for Bull
              -Responsibility
                    -Rex W. Scouten
                    -General Services Administration [GSA]

Bull left at an unknown time before 3:07 pm.

                -Importance
                                            18

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                       (rev. 10/06)
                                                                     Conv. No. 643-8 (cont.)


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BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 6
[Personal Returnable]
[Duration: 1m 42s ]

END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 6

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     Eisaku Sato dinner
          -Kissinger
               -Presence
               -Forthcoming Middle East trip
          -David M. Kennedy
          -Nobuhiko Ushiba
          -Armin H. Meyer
               -U. Alexis Johnson
          -Possible number of invitees
          -The President’s schedule
          -Kissinger
               -People's Republic of China [PRC] trip
               -Middle East trip
               -Presence

Haldeman left at 3:07 pm.