Wednesday, April 28, 1971 - 7:33pm - 7:45pm
Richard Nixon, H.R. (Bob) Haldeman
White House Telephone


Editors' Note: The sound quality of this recording is very low, making it difficult to discern what participants are saying. Please use extra caution when relying on the transcript.

President Nixon: Yeah.

Bob Haldeman: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Still at the office?

Haleman: No.

President Nixon: Oh. Did you notice that the market went to 950 today?

Haleman: Yeah, how about that.

President Nixon: 24 million shares.

Haldeman: Was it 24 million?

President Nixon: 24 million. The second biggest day.1

Haldeman: It's pretty hard to question whether the strength is there.

President Nixon: Good. [Unclear.] Well, it only went up 3 points, but that's a hell of a volume.

Haldeman: That's right.

President Nixon: [Economics columnist] Hobart Rowen would die [unclear].

Haldeman: [Laughs].

President Nixon: [Unclear.]The other thing I was going to mention is the . . . Did you, uh, apparently there's something in Time on Teddy Kennedy's [unclear]?

Haldeman: Yeah, yeah.

President Nixon: Now that's kind of a [unclear].

Haldeman: That's facinating.

President Nixon: Well, that's very imporant [unclear].

Haldeman: He was late for—

President Nixon: What did Louis [unclear]. Not only was it late, they were separated [unclear]. Did anybody on our staff realize the importance of that story? It's quite an important story.

Haldeman: I think so. It wasn't just Time. It was also in Newsweek.

President Nixon: OK, well that may be true.

Haldeman: It got a very good [unclear]. It felt close to [unclear].

President Nixon: Run that around. [Unclear.]

Haldeman: Right, now that was obviously [unclear] One of the other stories a staff member, it's really funny because one of the staff members, pretty stupid, said that he does that, that's what the senator does on purpose because it focuses attention on him. One of the chairmen cracked back and said that it may focus attention on him but it may [unclear] public opinion [unclear].

President Nixon: [Unclear] celebrity [unclear] you're fashionably late if you're five or ten minutes as a crowd teaser but never more than that.

Haldeman: He was an hour and a half late, something like that [unclear]. A whole series of [unclear].

President Nixon: Yeah, yeah. The other thing is that. . . I just told [Office of Management and Budget Dir. George P.] Shultz today they shouldn't rushed this [unclear] fire him, fire the whole goddamn Cabinet. You know, really, he should have, he knew—why the hell did he wait to do it today?

Haldeman: Shultz was pretty upset about that, too.

President Nixon: Well, I'm upset!

Haldeman He came charging in with this right at the last minute.

President Nixon: I know, he came charging, so we're going to wait and postpone it a week. Have [Labor Secretary James D.] Hodgson be in there. I'm not going to make a big decision like this in a [unclear] way. So it's done.

Haldeman: [Deputy National Security Adviser Alexander M.] Haig called me all concerned that [Secretary of State William P.] Rogers did another thing on China today.

President Nixon: What'd he do this time?

Haldeman: He said that China and Russia, that something about [unclear] but it was something to the effect of [unclear] important to China and Russia and as part of a move [unclear] one side thinks the other one [unclear] move with one irritates the other then that [unclear]. And—

President Nixon: Oh, Christ, Jesus, that's terrible.

Haldeman: So Al is terribly disturbed. And he, I told him to just go ahead and do it if he could send a cable to Rogers saying that you had asked that there be no further discussion [unclear] Vietnam. [Unclear] China initiative I'm going to stress-

President Nixon: On the trip-

Haldeman: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Yeah.

Haldeman: So I told him to go ahead and send it.

President Nixon: Good.

Haldeman: Haig had gotten word to him this morning [unclear] Rogers apparently blew up [unclear].

President Nixon: Now, wait a minute. . . . Why don't you call him on the phone?

Haldeman: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Call him on the phone.

Haldeman: They don't have enough to worry about that.

President Nixon: Oh, screw the worrying. There isn't anything to worry about. The goddamn thing, nobody [unclear]. He knows that. That's just bull shit. And I just don't [unclear.] I didn't [unclear]. What the hell is he going to say though, it's a dividend for us. . . . Good God, you don't say that in any event. Of course there is. That's what we privately think, but you don't say that. That irritates both the Chinese and the Russians.

Haldeman: That's right. [Unclear] both.

President Nixon: I don't want—the thing I don't want to do is the thing that [unclear] makes me tell him what we're doing when he gets back. He may not be ready.

Haldeman: [Unclear] when we get back simply say [unclear] with all the senators and all the [unclear].

President Nixon: Why don't you just tell him—why don't you just call him today [unclear] he's got problems. Senators, congressmen, a hell of a lot of people, [unclear] cool it a little on the [unclear]. At best [unclear]. Of course, I'll tell you what, I'll do it tomorrow in the press conference. [Unclear.] I'm going to say it's not helpful [unclear]. You know I mean it, I'm going to lay it out. Maybe that's the best thing to do. [Unclear.]

Haldeman: [Unclear.]

President Nixon: No, but I'm going to cover it tomorrow night.

Haldeman: Yeah. [Unclear.]

President Nixon: No, but after I say it [unclear].

Haldeman: [Unintelligible.]

President Nixon: I'm not sure you ought to elevate to a wire [unclear].

Haldeman: [Unintelligible.] It's too late to call him now. [Unclear] call him first thing in the morning.

President Nixon: I don't want him—I don't want to let him in on this game, you know.

Haldeman: [Unclear] can't get into details.

President Nixon: I don't want to get into it. That's the point. I haven't got any reason to dignify it with [unclear].

[Unclear exchange.].

President Nixon: What the hell [unclear]. I'd call him on that. [Unclear.]

[Unclear exchange.]

President Nixon: Maybe your [unclear]. But don't do it by the wire. [Unclear] the way to do it. [Unclear.]

Haldeman: I'll say I don't want to discuss it on the phone [unclear].

President Nixon: Our problem [unclear]. He shouldn't go beyond what the president said in his answer to the editors.

[Unclear exchange.]

President Nixon: What he's really trying to do, don't you think, [unclear].

[Unclear exchange.]

Haldeman: But the problem is, it escalates [unclear].

[Unclear exchange.]

President Nixon: Yeah, and if I tell him something, he doesn't do it [unclear].

[Unclear exchange.]

President Nixon: A hundred thousand dollars bail!

[Unclear exchange.]

President Nixon: I saw another story [unclear] narcotics.

[Unclear exchange.]

Haldeman: I didn't see the story, but I [unclear].

[Unclear exchange.]


1 The stock market rose to 950.82 in its third greatest volume of trading to this date, 24.82 million shares. (↑)

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