001-035

Date: 
Wednesday, April 7, 1971 - 11:08pm - 11:11pm
Participants: 
Richard Nixon, H.R. (Bob) Haldeman
Location: 
White House Telephone
Listen: 

 


 

President Nixon: Yeah.

Operator: [White House Chief of Staff] Mr. [H.R. “Bob”] Haldeman returning your call. There you are.

H.R. Haldeman: Hello.

President Nixon: Yeah. It occurred to me that—you've probably [been] already working on this—that you ought to gin up our people to say, you know, we've had a great reaction, all that bullshit.

Haldeman: Right.

President Nixon: Have you done that?

Haldeman: Yep.

President Nixon: Good. I think we should, you know, whatever the reaction is, you've got to play it that way, Bob.

Haldeman: Well, we've got, we've got enough that it'll, that that's believable, you know, I mean we can—

President Nixon: Right, right. And I would—we've heard from only three Cabinet officers, which I expected and that's that. That's it. I guess we heard from [Attorney General John N.] Mitchell. Who else? [Secretary of State William P.] Rogers.

Haldeman: Oh, we have more than that.

President Nixon: No. That's all. Rogers, Mitchell.

Haldeman: Mitchell, Rogers, [Labor Secretary James D.] Hodgson

President Nixon: Yeah, Hodgson, yeah.

Haldeman: [Housing and Urban Development Secretary George W.] Romney, [Transportation Secretary John A.] Volpe.

President Nixon: Volpe, yeah.

Haldeman: [Postmaster General Winton M.] Blount.

President Nixon: Haven't heard from [Treasury Secretary John B.] Connally, though. That's curious.

Haldeman: Not to my knowledge, no.

President Nixon: Why don't you call him and ask him what he thought of it.

Haldeman: OK.

President Nixon: I'd be curious. Fine.

Haldeman: Right.

President Nixon: I think it's important to know what he feels. We've got to keep him really on salvo, OK?

Haldeman: OK. Sure.

President Nixon: Fine. OK.

Haldeman: You want me to call you back, then?

President Nixon: If you would, yes.

Haldeman: Right.

President Nixon: But in the meantime, remember that the boys now have got to really gin up this thing. They've got to make it appear as if it's a hell of a damn success, you know. You know how it is. Great reaction, all that sort of thing. Who's—who's working on that, Bob? Is that [Charles W. “Chuck”] Colson?

Haldeman: Our whole crew.

President Nixon: No, but I mean in terms of how it gets out, you know, that sort . . . Well, you know, I know they're working on—

Haldeman: Oh, [White House Press Secretary] Ron's [Ziegler] working the press.

President Nixon: Right, but I meant in terms of . . . You see in the press in the morning, they're going to say, “What's the reaction?” Well, I'd say, “wires, calls,” the usual crap, you know, that the switchboard is jammed, da da da da da. You know?

Haldeman: Right. Yeah.

President Nixon: What do you think? Don't you think so?

Haldeman: Yeah, well, we've got—

President Nixon: Or do you think so?

Haldeman: Oh, yes! We, and, and we've covered that with Ron to cover them with tonight.

President Nixon: OK.

Haldeman: Because the first story stuff is all, you know, moving now.

President Nixon: Right. Right. Right. OK, you'd better give Connally a call [unclear].

Haldeman: All right. Right.

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