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Conversation: 709-015

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Start Date: 17-Apr-1972 11:35 AM

End Date: 17-Apr-1972 12:02 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Haldeman, H. R. ("Bob")White House operatorBull, Stephen B.

Recording Device: Oval Office

Full Tape Conversation Start Time: 02:58:04

Full Tape Conversation End Time: 03:24:18

709a.mp3

709b.mp3

NARA Description:

On April 17, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon, H. R. ("Bob") Haldeman, White House operator, and Stephen B. Bull met in the Oval Office of the White House from 11:35 am to 12:02 pm. The Oval Office taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 709-015 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 709-15

Date: April 17, 1972
Time: 11:35 am - 12:02 pm
Location: Oval Office

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

     Richard G. Kleindienst confirmation
          -John N. Mitchell's report
               -Negotiations with Samuel J. Ervin, Jr. and Paul J. Fannin
                     -Robert Mardian
                     -Clark MacGregor

     Vietnam
          -William P. Rogers's testimony, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
                -Rogers’s hearing
                -Press coverage
                -Clifford P. Case's questions
                      -Support for the President and Vietnamization
                      -Criticism of air war
                -Press coverage
                      -Rogers's bearing
                                               33

                           NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                       Tape Subject Log
                                         (rev. 10/06)
                                                                    Conv. No. 709-14 (cont.)


                -Frank F. Church's questions

The President talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 11:35 and
11:50 am

[Conversation No. 709-15A]

[See Conversation No. 23-1]

[End of telephone conversation]

     Vietnam
          -Rogers's testimony

The President talked with the White House operator at an unknown time between 11:35 and
11:50 am.

[Conversation No. 709-15B]

[See Conversation No. 23-2]

[End of telephone conversation]

     Vietnam
          -Rogers's testimony

     Kleindienst confirmation
          -MacGregor
          -Mitchell
                -Advice on Kleindienst
          -Speech
                -Scheduling
          -Ervin's tactics
                -Delay of testimony
                -Michael Gravel case
                      -Supreme Court
                      -Privilege of Congress
                            -Criticism of Ervin's position

     Vietnam
          -Rogers's testimony
                              34

          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                      Tape Subject Log
                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                      Conv. No. 709-15 (cont.)


-Substance
      -Haldeman’s opinion
-Television appearance
      -Bearing
-Criticism of invasion
-Prisoners of war [POWs]
-Plane loss
      -Figures and casualties
-US bombing
      -Military reasons
      -Diplomatic reasons
            -Importance
-Talents
      -Legal abilities
      -Public relations sense
      -Clarity
            -Compared with Henry A. Kissinger
-North Vietnamese intentions
      -Negotiations
            -Possible offer from North Vietnam
      -US bombing
            -Cessation
                  -Conditions
      -Violations
            -Cessation
                  -Demilitarized zone [DMZ]
-US bombing
      -Conditions for cessation
-Changes of policy under the President
      -Compared to 1968
      -Troops
            -Retaliation for attacks
                  -Protection of troops
                        -Rogers compared to Kissinger
-North Vietnamese invasion
      -Mechanized forces
            -Source of supply
                  -Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [USSR]
            -Petroleum dependence
                  -US attacks on dumps
                        -Purpose of bombings
                                        35

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                Tape Subject Log
                                  (rev. 10/06)
                                                             Conv. No. 709-15 (cont.)


          -News coverage
          -Edmund S. Muskie's resolution
              -Comments
              -Dangers to Democrats
                   -Henry M. (“Scoop”) Jackson's criticism
                   -George C. Wallace

Wallace
     -Tax reform
          -Letter to the President
                -Congress
                -Donald H. Rumsfeld’s reaction

John B. Connally
     -Return from Texas
          -Timing
          -Haldeman's call
     -Appointment with Haldeman
     -Vacation in Texas
          -Benefits
          -Lyndon B. Johnson
                -Need to get back to Texas

Vietnam
     -US bombing
          -Haiphong
          -Supporters
                -William F. (“Billy”) Graham
                -Nelson A. Rockefeller
                -Charles W. Colson briefing
                      -Albert E. Sindlinger poll
                           -Hawkishness of public opinion
                           -Voluntary reaction
          -Sindlinger's press conference
     -The President’s previous conversation with Kissinger
          -Desire for negotiations
                -Possible partial deal
     -Negotiations with the USSR
          -Blockade
                -Imposition
                      -Timing
                                         36

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 10/06)
                                                                     Conv. No. 709-15 (cont.)


               -North Vietnamese troop withdrawal from South Vietnam
     -Blockade
          -Johnson's compared with the President's policies

White House staff
     -Donald B. Rice
           -Job with Rand Corporation
           -Meeting with the President
                -Value
     -Departures
           -Meetings with the President
                -Kissinger’s people
     -Rice
           -Meeting with the President
                -George P. Shultz
                -Reasons
     -Departures
           -Meetings with the President
                -Scheduling
                      -Alexander P. Butterfield
                           -Individuals to meet with the President
                -Stephen Hess
                -Capitalization on White House job
                      -Meetings with the President
                           -President’s view
                                 -Unknown accountant [?]

Thelma C. (“Pat”) Nixon's schedule
     -Mix-up with pandas
          -Two People's Republic of China [PRC] related events on same day
               -Rescheduling
     -Constance M. (Cornell) (“Connie”) Stuart
          -Upcoming conversation with Haldeman
          -Work with Ronald L. Ziegler
          -Soviet trip
               -Ziegler's staff
               -Plane
               -Reason for trip
                      -Favor to Mrs. Nixon
               -Haldeman's conversation with William R. Codus
               -Stuart’s staff people
                                             37

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                     Tape Subject Log
                                       (rev. 10/06)
                                                                    Conv. No. 709-15 (cont.)


                           -Problems
               -Mrs. Nixon's trip to Africa
                     -Codus
                     -Stuart
                           -Job description
               -Assignments
                     -Work with Mrs. Nixon
                           -Lucy A. Winchester
               -Soviet trip
                     -Restrictions
          -Hairdresser on Soviet trip
               -The President’s insistence
               -Work on previous trips
                     -Helpfulness
                           -Value to Mrs. Nixon

     Soviet trip
          -Warsaw stopover
                 -Announcement

     Vietnam
          -Rogers's testimony
               -Haldeman's call
               -Complements
          -The President's call
          -Blockade
               -The President’s previous conversation with Rogers
               -Rogers's statement
          -Options
               -Exclusions
                      -Ground forces
                      -Nuclear weapons
          -Rogers's testimony
               -Blockade question

Stephen B. Bull entered at an unknown time after 11:52 am.

     The President's schedule
          -Luncheon with William M. Colmer
          -Meeting with Rice
               -Length
                                                38

                             NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/06)
                                                                      Conv. No. 709-15 (cont.)


                -Next job
                      -Rand Corporation
                -Family
                -Gift
                -Caspar W. (“Cap”) Weinberger
                      -MacGregor
                      -Ervin

Bull left at an unknown time before 12:02 pm.

     Kleindienst confirmation
          -Ervin
                -Meeting with MacGregor
          -Jack Gleason

Haldeman left at 12:02 pm.