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Conversation: 661-001

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Start Date: 31-Jan-1972 1:28 PM

End Date: 31-Jan-1972 3:12 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Ehrlichman, John D.Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")[Unknown person(s)]Ziegler, Ronald L.White House operatorRibicoff, Abraham A.Bull, Stephen B.

Recording Device: Oval Office

Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 00:00:15

Full Tape Conversation End Time: 01:41:07

661a.mp3

661b.mp3

661c.mp3

NARA Description:

On January 31, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon, John D. Ehrlichman, H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, unknown person(s), Ronald L. Ziegler, White House operator, Abraham A. Ribicoff, and Stephen B. Bull met in the Oval Office of the White House from 1:28 pm to 3:12 pm. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 661-001 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 661-1

Date: January 31, 1972
Time: 1:28 pm - 3:12 pm
Location: Oval Office

The President met with John D. Ehrlichman and H. R. (“Bob”) Haldeman.
[Recording begins while the conversation is in progress]

    Welfare reform legislation
         -Meeting with Departments of Labor and Health, Education and Welfare [HEW]
               -John G. Veneman
               -Elliot L. Richardson
         -Administration line
         -Budget deficit
         -Abraham A. Ribicoff’s amendments
         -Call from the President to Ribicoff
               -Desire for reform
                     -Public statements by the President
                           -State of the Union address
         -Ribicoff’s tactics
               -Pilot projects trade off
         -Ribicoff’s possible meeting with the President
               -Timing
                     -Hearings
                     -The President’s forthcoming trip to the People’s Republic of China
[PRC]
               -Scheduling
                     -Russell B. Long, Wallace F. Bennett
                           -Richardson, Ehrlichman
         -Richardson view
               -Pilot projects
         -Public posture
         -Possible Ribicoff meeting
               -Long, Bennett inclusion
                     -Timing
                           -PRC trip
         -Family assistance
               -Strength as political issue
                     -Polls
                           -State of the Union [?] address
               -Ronald L. Ziegler
                                              2

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                                     Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


                     -Liberals
          -Ribicoff
          -Edmund S. Muskie, Hubert H. Humphrey calls to Ribicoff
               -Advocacy of the President’s bill
               -Pressure

     F. Donald Nixon
          -Jack N. Anderson
          -Ehrlichman’s schedule
          -Lines of White House communication
                -Instructions to operators
                -Herbert W. Kalmbach role
                -Possible telephone
                -White House schedule
          -Interview with Anderson
                -J. Willard Marriott, Sr. role
                      -Talk with Ehrlichman
                -Analogy to James B. (“Scotty”) Reston
                      -Invitation to Gen. Charles A.J.M. De Gaulle
          -Problems
                -Howard R. Hughes’s association
                      -John H. Meier’s role
                      -Clifford Irving’s biography
                      -News coverage
                      -Access to information
                      -Robert A. Maheu’s role
                            -John J. (“Jack”) Caulfield
                      -Noah Dietrich
                      -Frank Waters’s role

An unknown person entered at an unknown time after 1:28 pm.

     Unknown item or service

The unknown person left at an unknown time before 1:38 pm.
                                              3

                              NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                       Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 10/06)
                                                                       Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


     Hughes
         -Legal action
              -Maheu’s action
                    -Service of subpoena for a deposition
                         -[Nevada] Supreme Court ruling

Ziegler entered at 1:38 pm.

     Press relations
           -Choosing reporters for PRC trip
                 -Ziegler’s telephone call to James J. Kilpatrick
                 -Holmes Alexander
                 -William F. Buckley, Jr. request
                       -Herbert G. Klein
                       -US Information Agency [USIA]
                       -View of Chinese
                       -Comparison with Kilpatrick
                             -Television presence
                       -Position on Taiwan, Republic of China
                       -Influence
                             -Alexander
                             -William S. White
                       -Columnists on trip
                             -Washington Post, Washington Star representation
                                   -Smith Hempstone
                                   -Joseph C. Kraft
                             -White
                                   -Compared to Hempstone
                             -Kilpatrick
                             -Nicholas P. Thimmesch
                             -Alexander
                       -Compared to White
                             -Influence
                                   -Number of papers
                             -Taiwan
                             -Forum
                             -White’s qualifications

Ziegler left at 1:43 pm.

     Donald Nixon
                                        4

                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                               Tape Subject Log
                                 (rev. 10/06)
                                                         Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


     -Meier’s role
     -Air West deal
          -Anderson
                -[Forename unknown] Hillings
                -Marriott’s role
                -Agreement with Anderson
     -Meier’s connection
          -Trip to Dominican Republic
     -Hughes loan
          -Public interest
                -Media coverage
     -Administration handling
     -Innocence
          -Proof
     -Marriott’s influence with Anderson
          -Ehrlichman request
     -Anderson
     -Marriott
     -Anderson use of material
     -Problem
          -Meier
                -Air West
          -Kalmbach’s role

Official secrets meeting
     -Vice President Spiro T. Agnew
            -Television appearance
            -Media relations

Anderson column
    -Donald Nixon request
          -Marriott
                -Call from Ehrlichman
    -Threat of suit
          -Hughes loan
          -Ehrlichman’s advice
                                          5

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 10/06)
                                                                  Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


Donald Nixon
    -Hughes publicity
          -Public perception
          -Dietrich’s book
          -Loan story
                -News coverage
                      -Newsweek
                -Timing
                      -Irving’s book’s account
          -Mike Wallace interview of Irving
                -Hughes loan coverage
                -Clark M. Clifford role
                      -Clifford’s reaction
                -Irving’s contact with Hughes
                -Jimmy Golden’s role
                -Jimmy Crosby
          -Donald Nixon’s role
                -Hughes’s loan
                -The President’s view of politics and family
          -Book account by Dietrich
                -Waters’s view
                -Vic [?] Johnson’s role
                -Waters’s telephone call to the President
                      -The President’s reaction
    -Service station as security
    -Media coverage of Hughes story
    -Security for loan
          -Dietrich
          -Service station
                -Present value
                      -Waters’s view
                      -Compared to time of loan
                            -Appraisal
                                  -Market value
                            -Covenant provisions
                                  -Loan proceeds
                                        -Effect on mortgage and property value
          -Use of loan proceeds
                -Restaurants
    -Handling
          -Kalmbach role
                                             6

                        NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                    Tape Subject Log
                                      (rev. 10/06)
                                                                   Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


                    -White House telephones
                    -Possible taps
                    -Logs
         -Telephone call
              -Timing
              -Benefits
              -Marriott
              -Anderson and Drew Pearson
         -Marriott view
         -Business relationship with Marriott Corporation
              -Airline food service
              -Political aspect

    John B. Connally’s schedule
         -Pittsburgh
         -National Security Council [NSC] meeting

    The President’s property
         -Kalmbach
         -Frank De Marco, Jr.


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

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 7
[Personal Returnable]
[Duration: 6m 15s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 7

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


         -Access to the President’s papers
              -Intellectuals
              -Ehrlichman’s forthcoming trip to Lyndon B. Johnson Library
                    -Release of Johnson papers
                          -Claim
                          -Talk with archivists
                          -The President’s use of papers
                                         7

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 10/06)
                                                                Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


                            -Assistance
                      -Pressure on Johnson
                      -Oral histories
                            -Douglas Cator
                                  -Swimming
                            -Abuse of staff
                            -Cator
                      -Reason for release
                            -Walter W. Rostow’s advice
                      -Johnson book, The Vantage Point (1971)
                            -Criticism
                            -Sales
           -Walter L. Cronkite, Jr.’s view
           -Lesson from Johnson
                -Distrust of intellectuals
                      -Rostow
                      -Henry A. Kissinger
                -Decisions on release
                      -Johnson role
                      -Oral history
                      -Mellowing of public view of Johnson
                            -Harry S. Truman
                            -Herbert Hoover

Johnson
     -Treatment by Democrats
           -Visits from candidates
                 -Henry M. (“Scoop”) Jackson
                 -Edmund S. Muskie
                 -Hubert H. Humphrey
     -Ehrlichman visit
           -Timing
           -Conversation with Johnson
     -Volubility
     -Ehrlichman visit
     -Schedule
           -Watching the President’s PRC trip on television
           -Mexico
     -Brother, Samuel Houston Johnson
           -Handling
                                              8

                           NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                                    Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


     Donald Nixon
         -Handling
         -Greece
               -Dinner with leadership
               -Thomas A. Pappas

     Preview of Tivoli Gardens project
          -Ehrlichman visit
          -Rogers C.B. Morton

     Ehrlichman’s schedule
           -Vernon E. Jordan of Urban League, Maurice H. Stans

Ehrlichman left and Ziegler at 2:15 pm.

     Press relations
           -Choosing reporters for PRC trip
                 -Kilpatrick attendance
                 -White attendance
                       -Health
                       -Support for the President
                 -Alexander
                 -Buckley
                       -Kissinger’s view
                             -Chinese impression
                             -Buckley support for Chiang Kai-Shek
                       -Possible criticism of Administration
                       -Letter
                 -Alexander
                       -Availability
                 -Patrick J. Buchanan
                       -White
                       -Kilpatrick
                       -Buckley
                 -Buckley influence
                       -Number of papers
                 -Joseph W. Alsop
                       -Availability
                 -Alexander
                       -Influence
                             -Buchanan’s view
                                              9

                           NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                                Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


                 -Other columnists
                       -Victor Lasky
                       -Maury [Surname unknown]
                       -Thimmisch
                 -Alexander
                 -Dallas News
                 -Justification for choices
                       -Attempt at balance
                 -Richard (“Dick”) Wilson
                 -Joseph C. Kraft
                 -Stewart J.O. Alsop
                 -Kraft and Wilson requests
                       -Balance
                       -Dallas News
                 -Courtney R. Sheldon
                 -Roscoe Drummond
                       -Background
                              -Christian Science
                 -Money considerations
                       -White
                 -White
                       -Health
                 -Vermont C. Royster
                 -Drummond
                       -Geoffrey Drummond
                 -Wilson
                       -Position on roster
                              -Other openings
                                   -Voice of America [VOA]
                                   -Dallas News
                                   -Alexander
                       -Clark R. Mollenhoff
                 -White
                       -Health

Ziegler left at 2:22 pm.


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

BEGIN WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 10
                                              10

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                                      Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


[Personal Returnable]
[Duration: 4m 43s ]


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 10

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


     The President’s possible speech to black group
          -[The President’s appearance at Robert J. Brown testimonial dinner, January 30,
               1972]
          -Buchanan view
          -Benefits
          -Possible theme
          -Haldeman’s possible talk with Buchanan
          -Prospects of support
               -South
                      -Harry S. Dent
                      -Compared to North
                           -New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, Ohio
                      -Richmond
                      -Atlanta
          -White compared to black event
               -Timing
                      -News coverage

     The President’s schedule
          -NSC meeting
               -Kissinger’s view
                      -Kissinger’s schedule

The President left at an unknown time after 2:22 pm.

The President entered at an unknown time before 2:34 pm.

     The President’s schedule
          -Revenue sharing meeting
               -Benefits
          -Ronald W. Reagan and Daniel J. Evans meeting
               -Dock strike
                                             11

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                       (rev. 10/06)
                                                                    Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


          -NSC
          -Boy Scouts meeting
               -Past scout meeting
               -Agnew’s role
          -NSC meeting
               -Timing
          -Connally testimony
               -Conflict in scheduling

[The President talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 2:22 pm and
2:34 pm and requested a telephone call to Ribicoff.]

[Conversation No. 661-1A]

[See Conversation No. 20-2]

[End of telephone conversation]

     The President’s schedule
          -Press conference
          -Reading for the PRC trip
          -Reception for White House Conference on Drug Abuse, February 3, 1972

An unknown man entered at an unknown time after 2:22 pm.

The unknown man left at an unknown time before 2:34 pm.

          -Florida trip
                -Timing
                -Rationale
                -Return to Washington, DC

[The President talked with Ribicoff between 2:34 pm and 2:42 pm.]

[Conversation No. 661-1B]

[See Conversation No. 20-3]

[End of telephone conversation]

     Ribicoff‘s possible meeting with Ehrlichman
                                          12

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                Tape Subject Log
                                  (rev. 10/06)
                                                          Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


     -Welfare reform bill
          -Prospects
                -Working poor provision
                     -Ribicoff’s view

White House Conference on Drug Abuse
     -Athletes
     -Opening by the President
     -Briefing
     -Reception
     -Ehrlichman role
           -Federal program
     -William P. Rogers role
           -Diplomatic strategy, supply
     -Myles J. Ambrose role
           -Domestic law enforcement
     -Dr. Jerome Jaffe role
           -Treatment
     -Opening
           -Publicity
                -Television
     -Reception
           -Experience of gratitude

Scheduling
     -Ribicoff
     -Florida trip
           -Weather
           -Timing
                 -Congressional recess
           -PRC preparation
                 -Camp David
           -Benefits of relaxation
                 -Kissinger view
                 -Reading
     -PRC preparation
     -Prayer breakfast

PRC trip
    -Gifts
          -Recommendations
                                13

              NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                         Tape Subject Log
                           (rev. 10/06)
                                                         Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


          -Kissinger view
          -Porcelain swans [“Birds of Peace”]
                -Background
                -Helen F. Boehm
          -For Chou En-lai
          -For Mao Tse-tung
                -Mounted clock
                -Swans
                      -Public gift
          -For Chou
                -Mounted clock
          -People to people gift
                -Trio of live musk oxen
                      -Delivery
          -Photographs of national parks
                -Recipients
          -Parker pens presentation
                -Apollo spacecraft metal
                      -Mayors of Shanghai and Hangchow
          -Thelma C. (“Pat”) Nixon’s gifts
                -Bean birds
                -Gorham silver flower arrangements
                -Viewmasters
          -Titanium parker pens
                -Presidential seal
                -Recipients
          -Redwood saplings
                -Hangchow Park
                -National Park Service
          -Musk oxen
-VOA representation
     -Frank J. Shakespeare
     -James A. Michener
     -Hobart D. (“Hobe”) Lewis
     -Ziegler
     -Benefits
          -Bureaucracy
     -USIA coverage
          -Size
                -Restriction
-Columnists
                                             14

                         NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                       (rev. 10/06)
                                                              Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


              -Wilson
              -Kraft
                    -Kissinger
                    -Value
                    -Ziegler view
                         -Kissinger
                    -Possible columns
                         -Value
         -General schedule
              -Reading
              -Details
              -Need for flexibility

    Welfare reform
         -Ehrlichman
               -The President’s talk with Ribicoff
         -HEW

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

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


END WITHDRAWN ITEM NO. 12

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


         -Ziegler’s schedule
              -Houston
              -Busing
              -Budget

    Hughes books
        -Dietrich
        -Irving book
              -Publication status
              -Sales
              -Interest in Hughes
                                               15

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                                   Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


          -Dietrich book
                -Timing of publishing
                -Possible confusion with Irving
          -Irving’s book
                -Publication status
          -Public interest
                -Compared to movie magazines
                       -Lana Turner
          -Interest in Hughes
                -Ehrlichman’s view
                -Compared to Charles Manson murder trial

     Power of incumbency
         The President’s Vietnam peace proposal speech, January 25, 1972
         -Brown testimonial dinner
                -Reception
                     -Compared to business groups
         -Public contact
                -Motorcades
         -Press coverage
         -Ability to draw crowds

Stephen B. Bull entered at an unknown time after 2:42 pm.

     James R. Schlesinger meeting
          -Alexander M. Haig, Jr.

Bull left at an unknown time before 3:12 pm.

     Brown testimonial dinner
         -Stans
         -Brig. Gen. Daniel (“Chappie”) James, Jr.
         -Benefit to Brown

     Time and Newsweek stories on Kissinger
          -Quality
          -State Department information
          -Bureaucracy
          -Quality
                -Topics
                     -Secret negotiations
                                        16

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                Tape Subject Log
                                  (rev. 10/06)
                                                              Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)


                     -Details
                          -Travel
                     -Surprise of press
               -Kissinger’s social life
                     -Kissinger reaction
               -Kissinger demeanor
               -Kissinger sympathy for Prince Klemens von Metternich
               -The President’s leadership in decisionmaking
                     -Kissinger’s executive role
                     -Cover captions
          -Substance

The President’s television appearances
     -Vietnam peace proposal speech
           -Kissinger
           -Preparation
                 -State of the Union speech
                 -William L. Safire
     -January 1972
     -Washington Post story
     -State of the Union speech, January 20, 1972
     -Dan Rather interview, January 2, 1972
     -Cabinet changes announcement
     -Mrs. Nixon’s return from Africa
     -Quality
     -PRC trip
           -Repetition
     -Public viewing patterns
           -Political conventions
           -John F. Kennedy assassination
           -Moon landing
     -PRC trip
           -Great Wall
           -Forbidden Palace
           -Chou En-Lai meeting
           -Mao Tse-tung
           -Unanticipated opportunities

Telephone call to William F. (“Billy”) Graham
     -Graham schedule
          -Prayer breakfasts
                                                 17

                           NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                                     Conv. No. 661-1 (cont.)



Bull entered at an unknown time after 2:42 pm.

     The President’s schedule

Haldeman and Bull left at 3:12 pm