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Conversation: 700-003

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Start Date: Monday, April 3, 1972 2:18 PM

End Date: Monday, April 3, 1972 2:59 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")White House operatorCox, Tricia NixonKissinger, Henry A.

Recording Device: Oval Office

Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 00:39:55

Full Tape Conversation End Time: 01:31:24

700a.mp3

700b.mp3

700c.mp3

NARA Description:

On April 3, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon, H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, White House operator, Tricia Nixon Cox, and Henry A. Kissinger met in the Oval Office of the White House from 9:18 am to 9:59 am. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 700-003 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 700-3

Date: April 3, 1972
Time: 9:18 am - 9:59 am
Location: Oval Office

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

     The President's trip to Philadelphia
          -Plans
               -Uncertainty
          -Value
          -Announcements
               -Programs
          -George P. Shultz
          -John B. Connally
               -Judgment of value
          -Plans
               -Day and time

     The President's schedule
          -Problem with unknown activity
               -Publicity
               -Announcement
                      -Changes
                      -Invitations
                      -News reports
               -Cancellation
               -Vice President Spiro T. Agnew’s appearance
                                       6

                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                               Tape Subject Log
                                 (rev. 10/06)
                                                                   Conv. No. 700-3 (cont.)


     -The President's visit to Kentucky
          -Vietnamization
          -Timing
          -Problems
                -Catholic school event in Philadelphia
                -Haldeman's conversation with Henry A. Kissinger
          -A speech

Vietnam
     -US propaganda efforts
           -Deficiencies
           -News summary
           -Gen. Creighton W. Abrams, Jr.
           -Predictions of losses
                -Cities
           -Army of the Republic of Vietnam [ARVN]
     -North Vietnamese attacks
           -Need for US response
           -Kissinger
           -Media coverage
                -Bad news
                -Significance of loss of cities
                -Kontum
     -Laos and Cambodia
     -North Vietnam
           -Media departure
     -The President's trip to Kentucky
           -Welcome to Airborne Division
           -Timing
     -The President’s schedule
           -Adm. Thomas H. Moorer
     -Propaganda efforts
           -Prediction of offensive
                -Timing
                -Criticism
           -Ronald L. Ziegler's involvement
           -The President's credibility
     -Kissinger
           -Talk with David Kraslow
                -Nguyen Van Thieu
                -Pentagon
                                         7

                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                Tape Subject Log
                                  (rev. 10/06)
                                                              Conv. No. 700-3 (cont.)


                -Comments on offensive

Staff morale

John D. Ehrlichman's schedule
     -Editorial boards
     -Telecision events

International Telephone and Telegraph [ITT] case
      -Public attitudes
           -Interest
           -Concern
           -Hugh S. Sidey
                  -Howard R. Hughes case

Economy
    -Ehrlichman
    -Food prices
          -Connally
          -Decline
          -Giant Food Stores
               -Meat prices
                     -Government pressure
          -Publicity
    -Cost of Living Index
          -Release

The President's schedule
     -Vietnam
          -Amount of time
          -Meeting with Moorer, Melvin R. Laird and [David] Kenneth Rush
     -Domestic issues
          -Schools
     -The President's meeting with John N. Mitchell and Connally

Vietnam
     -William P. Rogers and Laird
           -Cambodia and Laos
           -Aggressiveness
           -Possible actions
                -Press conferences
                                         8

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                  Tape Subject Log
                                    (rev. 10/06)
                                                          Conv. No. 700-3 (cont.)


               -Military action
           -Bombing campaign
           -Bombing
               -Weather
ITT case
     -George S. McGovern charges
           -Taxes
           -Effect on election chances
           -Publicity
           -Wisconsin primary
     -Peter Lisagor's report
           -Liberal bias
           -Honesty
           -Annoyance with Democrats
                 -John F. Osborne on 1970 demonstrators
     -Publicity
           -Dita D. Beard
                 -Interview on 60 Minutes
                 -Testimony
                       -Senate investigation
                 -Life photograph

White House staff
     -Schedules
          -Charles W. Colson
                -Meeting with unknown people

Edward M. Kennedy

1972 election
     -Secret Service coverage
           -Michael J. Mansfield
           -Kennedy
           -Connally's interpretation
           -Kennedy
                -Status as candidate
                -Protection

Agnew
    -Attack on Jules Witcover
    -Book on Agnew
                                               9

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                       (rev. 10/06)
                                                                       Conv. No. 700-3 (cont.)


          -Patrick J. Buchanan

The White House operator talked with Haldeman at 9:33 am.

[Conversation no. 700-3A]

[See Conversation no. 22-63]

Haldeman conferred with the President at an unknown time.

     Call from Tricia Nixon Cox

Tricia Nixon Cox talked with the President between 9:33 and 9:34 am; one item has been
withdrawn from the conversation.

[End of telephone conversation]

     Witcover
          -Criticism of Agnew

     ITT case
          -New York Times editorial
          -Conclusion of case
                -Decline in interest
          -Editorials
                -New York Time
                -Washington Post
                -Beard memorandum
                -Media efforts
                -Impact on Vietnam offensive
          -Public interest
                -Role of newspapers and networks

     Vietnam
          -North Vietnamese offensive
               -The president's statement
                     -Abrams
               -Initial successes
                     -Gains by North Vietnam
               -Cambodia
               -ARVN losses
                                             10

                         NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                       (rev. 10/06)
                                                              Conv. No. 700-3 (cont.)


                      -Press reports
                            -News summary
                            -Emphasis on negative
         -Negotiations
               -Chances
               -Weather
               -US bombing attacks
               -US election
         -Casualty rates
               -Distortions by press
         -White House staff
               -Morale
                      -Press attacks
                            -ITT
                            -Congress
         -Critics of the president


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

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 5
[Personal returnable]
[Duration: 1m 44s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 5

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


    Easter egg hunt
         -Noise
         -Weather

    Agnew
        -Gridiron Dinner
        -Trip to Kentucky
              -Greetings to 101st Airborne
              -Publicity
                   -Problems for Vietnam offensive
                                            11

                         NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                    Tape Subject Log
                                      (rev. 10/06)
                                                              Conv. No. 700-3 (cont.)


    The President's schedule
         -Speech to Catholics
               -[National Catholic Education Association]
         -Trip to Kentucky
         -Speech in Philadelphia
               -Connally


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

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 6
[Personal returnable]
[Duration: 17s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 6

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


         -Camp David trip
               -Problems
                    -Gridiron Dinner
               -Time and day
               -Canadian trip
         -Gridiron Dinner
               -Importance
                    -Compared with Bohemian Grove event
         -Trip to Camp David
               -Departure
               -Return day
         -Trip to Kentucky
               -Agnew as substitute
                    -Arrangements
                          -101st Airborne division


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

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 7
[Personal returnable]
                                           12

                           NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                    Tape Subject Log
                                      (rev. 10/06)
                                                                    Conv. No. 700-3 (cont.)


[Duration: 1m 10s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 7

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


Kissinger entered at 9:49 am.

     Vietnam
          -Pentagon briefing of Kissinger
          -Kentucky event
          -North Vietnamese offensive
               -Destruction of ARVN regiments
               -Superiority
               -Defensive line
               -Sense of urgency
                    -Moorer
               -Lack of US reaction
                    -Laird
                    -Stakes of war
               -US bombing
                    -Air sorties
                           -Number
                           -Limitations
                                -B-3 area
                    -Purpose
               -North Vietnamese forces
                    -ARVN re-enforcements
                           -Marine brigades
                                -Saigon
               -ARVN defeats
               -US reaction
                    -Moorer and Rush
                           -Meeting with the President
                                -Arrangements
                                      -Washington Special Actions Grip [WSAG]
                                -Talking points
                                      -Informing the President
                                      -Moorer
                                               13

                             NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                       Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 10/06)
                                                                         Conv. No. 700-3 (cont.)


                                            -Responsibilities
                 -Air strikes
                       -Number
                             -Limitations
                       -B-52s
                             -Orders
                             -North Vietnam
                                  -Dong Hoi
                                        -Importance
                                        -Moorer
           -Military
                 -Current attitudes
                       -Abrams
                       -Ellsworth F. Bunker
                             -Return to Saigon
                                  -Conversation with Abrams and Thieu
                       -Abrams
                             -Promotion
                                  -Laird
                             -Gen. Robert E. Pursley
                             -Aggressiveness
                                  -Message to Moorer
                                  -Message To Laird

Haldeman left at 9:55 am.

           -Publicity
                -WSAG meeting
                -Problems with public relations
                -Predictions of losses
                      -Cities
                -Public relations efforts
                      -Abrams
                      -Anticipated Losses
                            -Abrams
                            -Kissinger’s talk with Ziegler and John A. Scali
                            -Cities
                                  -Quang Tri and Kontum
                                  -Supply problems

Kissinger left at 9:59 am.
                                           14

                         NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                    Tape Subject Log
                                      (rev. 10/06)
                                                                    Conv. No. 700-3 (cont.)