Wednesday, April 7, 1971 - 10:35pm - 10:37pm
Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger
White House Telephone


Operator: Dr. Kissinger?

President Nixon: Yep.

Operator: Mr. President, Dr. Kissinger's calling you.

President Nixon: Yep.

Operator: Fine, sir. There you are.

President Nixon: Yeah?

Henry Kissinger: Mr. President?

President Nixon: Yeah.

Kissinger: I just talked to Alsop.1

President Nixon: Yeah. Joe or Stew?

Kissinger: Joe. Yeah. And he was just—he said the only reason he didn't call you is because he has a dinner party at his house.

President Nixon: That's all right. I shouldn't talk to him tonight anyway.

Kissinger: And he said he'd write you a note tomorrow. He said it was marvelous, immensely—

President Nixon: Do you think I should call him at his house? He might like that.

Kissinger: You should call him?

President Nixon: You think I should, or not?

Kissinger: I wouldn't do it tonight.

President Nixon: All right. I won't. Fine.

Kissinger: But he said it was marvelous, immensely brave . . .

President Nixon: He liked the speech, then?

Kissinger: He said it—that he was proud to be an American. It was just the way things should be. He said he, you remind him of [Ulysses S.] Grant saying you'd fight on this line if it takes all summer. [President Nixon chuckles] And he said he was—he had a lot of people there who—

President Nixon: What did they think?

Kissinger: —who were not sympathetic to you. He didn't mention their names, but he said—

President Nixon: Oh, I know. [Unclear.]

Kissinger: —everyone was enormously impressed, that it was—

President Nixon: Were they really?

Kissinger: That's what he said.

President Nixon: His friends. Isn't that interesting?

Kissinger: And he said—

President Nixon: It's interesting that his people would think that, isn't it?

Kissinger: Well, that's what I found. That's why I'm mentioning it.

President Nixon: Mmm-hmm.

Kissinger: And he really could not have been more—

President Nixon: He thought it was fine. Good. That's good to know that he feels that way.

Kissinger: Marvelous, he said, immensely brave, exactly right. Well, and the whole impression of—

President Nixon: He didn't think that the last was too emotional, did he? Some may think that.

Kissinger: No, no. He thought that was just—

President Nixon: I did it, I thought, with—I really underplayed it a bit, but I thought I did it with just about the right amount of . . . you know? I felt it very deeply, but I couldn't let the people know that I felt as deeply as I did, you know, but I hope it got across.

Kissinger: I just got a—somebody just handed me a news ticker saying that—which [Senator Robert] Byrd and [Senator Hugh] Scott are supporting you.

President Nixon: Good. Good. Byrd is particularly important.

Kissinger: And Byrd is a fine person.

President Nixon: Well, he's important because he's a Democrat. Good.

Kissinger: Right. Right. But Alsop was deeply moved, he said, and all of his dinner guests were profoundly impressed.

President Nixon: Good. Good deal. Fine, Henry. If you get anything else that's interesting, call me.

Kissinger: Right, Mr. President. Bye.


1 Joseph W. Alsop, newspaper columnist. (↑)

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.