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Conversation: 439-047

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Start Date: 23-May-1973 4:05 PM

End Date: 23-May-1973 4:58 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Haig, Alexander M., Jr.White House operatorRichardson, Elliot L.Bull, Stephen B.

Recording Device: Old Executive Office Building

439-047.mp3

NARA Description:

On May 23, 1973, President Richard M. Nixon, Alexander M. Haig, Jr., White House operator, Elliot L. Richardson, and Stephen B. Bull met in the President's office in the Old Executive Office Building from 4:05 pm to 4:58 pm. The Old Executive Office Building taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 439-047 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 439-47

Date: May 23, 1973
Time: 4:05 pm - 4:58 pm
Location: Old Executive Office Building

President met with Alexander M. Haig, Jr.

       Elliot L. Richardson’s confirmation 

               -Vote count        


President talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 4:05 pm and 4:08
pm.

[Conversation No. 439-47A]

[Begin telephone conversation]

[See Conversation No. 46-174]

[End telephone conversation]

       Veto

       Watergate
                                             -37-


                   NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM 


                                      Tape Subject Log 

                                      (rev. August-2011)

                                                                 Conversation 439-47 (cont’d)

              -Hearings
                     -President’s previous conversation with Ronald L. Ziegler
                            -Gerald Alch’s testimony, May 23
                                    -James W. McCord, Jr.
                     -Popular mood

President talked with Elliot L. Richardson between an unknown time after 4:05 pm and 4:08 pm.

[Conversation No. 439-47B]

[Begin telephone conversation]

[See Conversation No. 46-175]

[End telephone conversation]

       President’s conversation with Richardson 

              -Swearing-in         

                      -Location
                             -Justice Department
                             -White House and the Cabinet
                                      -East Room       

                                      -Cabinet meeting      

              -Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] meeting 

                      -President’s attendance        


       Spiro T. Agnew

       Watergate        

             -White House response             

                     -White Paper           

             -Hugh Scott          

                     -Statement          

                     -Intelligence         

                     -Leonard Garment’s preparation         

                              -Daniel J. Ellsberg   

             -Political alignments           

                                        -38-

            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                 (rev. August-2011)

                                                       Conversation 439-47 (cont’d)

              -Cambodia action, 1970           

              -Ellsberg      


White House staff
      -Organization        

             -President’s map          

             -Transitions         

                    -Personality            

             -George P. Shultz           

                    -Workload             

             -Energy          

                    -White House                

                    -Peter M. Flanigan               

                    -Charles Di Bona              

                             -Roy L. Ash               

             -Flanigan          

                    -Subordinate              

                             -Compliments
                                    -State Department
                                    -[First name unknown] Aiken
                    -Council on International Economic Policy [CIEP]
                    -George H. W. Bush
                             -Doctrine
             -Dean Smith [?]         

                    -Replacement                

                    -Peter G. Peterson              

             -Peterson
                    -Cabinet
                    -Relationship with Henry A. Kissinger
                    -Importance
                    -Knowledge
                             -Compared to Flanigan
                    -Reinstatement

President’s schedule
       -POW dinner
               -Reception line
                               -39-

    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

                       Tape Subject Log
                       (rev. August-2011)

                                                    Conversation 439-47 (cont’d)

              -Numbers          

              -Length            

-Camp David
        -Weekly schedule
        -Gen. Brent G. Scowcroft
        -Relaxation
                -Compared to White House
-POWs
        -Briefing by President          

                -Length of time           

                -Content         

                        -Press coverage
                        -Classified briefing
                        -Security of country
                        -Norfolk, Virginia
                        -Negotiations
                        -Future of country
                        -Balance
                                -Security
                                -Freedom
-Grueling ordeal
-President’s time off
        -Relaxation
-Press conference
        -President’s conversation with Ronald L. Ziegler
        -Timing
                -President’s trip to Iceland, meeting with Georges Pompidou and
                 Kissinger’s forthcoming communique
                -Ervin Committee
                -Leonid I. Brezhnev and Pompidou
                        -Forthcoming meetings with President
        -President’s public appearances          

                -Television [TV] speech          

                -Norfolk, Virginia          

        -Questions
        -Press relations
-Congress
                                                 -40-


                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM 


                                         Tape Subject Log 

                                         (rev. August-2011)

                                                                  Conversation 439-47 (cont’d)

                       -President’s public appearances        

               -Brezhnev and Pompidou           

               -Relaxation         

               -Haig’s impressions          

                       -Press        

               -Press relations         

                       -Ziegler        

               -Congressional leaders meeting         

                       -Elliot L. Richardson       


President talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 4:08 pm and 4:24
pm.

[Conversation No. 439-47C]

[Begin telephone conversation]

[See Conversation No. 46-176]

[End telephone conversation]

       President’s schedule       

              -POWs reception            

                      -Photograph            


       POWs

               -President’s efforts        

                      -Fate of POWs

                               -Hanoi        

                               -Credit to President       

                               -Leaders         

               -Haig’s impressions

       Scott [?]

       President’s schedule          

              -Banquet           

                                               -41-


                   NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM 


                                       Tape Subject Log 

                                       (rev. August-2011)

                                                                Conversation 439-47 (cont’d)

              -Discussion
              -POWs reception
                     -Spiro T. Agnew
                            -Solarium

President talked with Stephen B. Bull between 4:24 pm and 4:26 pm.

[Conversation No. 439-47D]

[Begin telephone conversation]

[See Conversation No. 46-177]

[End telephone conversation]

       President’s schedule          

              -Camp David             

                      -Scowcroft          

              -POWs          

                      -Dinner arrangements           

                               -Chorus            

                               -Colors          

                               -Music          

                               -Toast        

              -Cabinet meeting
                      -Watergate report
                               -President’s attendance
                      -Richardson’s swearing-in
                      -Garment
                      -“Fight talk”
                      -Richardson
                               -Watergate
                      -Kissinger
                               -Report
                               -Arrival
                               -Iceland
                                           -42-

             NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

                                   Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. August-2011)

                                                             Conversation 439-47 (cont’d)

Watergate
      -Kissinger’s possible press briefing, May 29 

             -Conversation with Haig           

             -Possible press briefing        

                     -Iceland and Southeast Asia
                     -Ziegler
                     -Wiretaps
                     -Plumbers

President’s schedule
       -Possible press conference           

               -Ziegler        

               -Press treatment of President             

                       -Benefit to US            

                       -Norfolk, Virginia            

                       -Press relations            

                               -Integrity
                               -Lies         

       -Cabinet session          

       -President’s visit to Key Biscayne 

       -Bi-partisan Congressional leaders              

               -“Free for all”
               -Structure          

       -William P. Rogers             

       -Armored Division award            

               -Award for President            

                       -Award for President              

                       -World War II             

       -National security           

       -Economic issue           

               -Quadriad meeting           


National economy
       -John B. Connally’s view
       -Shultz
       -Plan of action
               -High profile
                                      -43-

            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

                               Tape Subject Log
                               (rev. August-2011)

                                                           Conversation 439-47 (cont’d)

              -Dramatic         

       -Meeting       


President’s schedule
       -Richardson’s swearing-in            

               -Warren E. Burger           

               -Haig’s forthcoming telephone call to Richardson 

               -Location          

                       -Cabinet Room

                       -East Room          

                               -Style          

               -Invitees        

                       -Judiciary Committee           

                       -Chief Justice            

                               -Swearing-in duty          

                       -Cabinet members and wives           

               -Justice Department             

                       -Cabinet        

       -Events outside Washington, DC 

               -Weekly allowance             

               -President’s return from Iceland         

               -Exposure of President              

                       -Public reaction             

                       -Testimony           

       -San Clemente          

               -Brezhnev’s visit         

               -Duration          


Watergate
      -Testimony
      -Ervin Committee hearings
             -Public reaction

President’s schedule
       -Telephone calls of appreciation 

               -Votes       

               -Office of Management and Budget [OMB] 

                                      -44-

            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

                               Tape Subject Log
                               (rev. August-2011)

                                                           Conversation 439-47 (cont’d)

             -William E. Timmons             

             -Precedent       

       -Republican congressmen          

             -Camp David example                 

             -Frequency of contact           

                     -Timmons

White House staff
      -Haig’s role       

             -Ehrlichman and Haldeman’s responsibilities           

             -Bryce N. Harlow          

                     -Assistance         

                     -Peterson       

                             -Return       

                     -Telephone call to Haig    

      -Shultz’s role       

             -Workload          


Watergate
      -Possible press conference by Kissinger 

              -Ziegler         

              -Content           

      -J. Fred Buzhardt, Jr. 

      -Garment          

      -Press briefing, May 24 

              -Ziegler         

              -Gerald L. Warren          

      -White House response           

              -White Paper
                      -William L. Safire’s opinion
                      -President’s guilt
                      -Scott’s statement regarding President’s decisions
      `-Richardson’s confirmation

President’s schedule
       -Camp David
               -Relaxation
                                        -45-

             NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                 (rev. August-2011)

                                                              Conversation 439-47 (cont’d)

         -Republican congressmen          

                -Timmons            

                        -Telephone calls of appreciation by President 

         -Brezhnev           

         -President’s visit to Iceland 

         -Republican Congressional leaders meeting 

                -Morale

Watergate
      -Press coverage
              -Washington Post
      -White House staff           

              -Morale          

              -Survival          

      -Central Intelligence Agency [CIA]
              -Release of memorandum

                      -Intent        

                      -Walters         

                              -Leak
                      -White House response

Haig’s schedule
       -Meeting with state whips
       -Leadership meeting
       -Phone calls
              -Richardson

Harlow

Kissinger
       -Possible telephone calls     

              -Nelson A. Rockefeller           

              -Ronald W. Reagan        


Watergate
      -White House response
      -Ervin Committee hearings
                                                    -46-


                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM 


                                           Tape Subject Log 

                                           (rev. August-2011)

                                                                          Conversation 439-47 (cont’d)

                        -Testimony by Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Charles W. Colson

Haig left at 4:58 pm.