Wednesday, June 9, 1971 - 3:13pm - 3:14pm
Richard Nixon, Ronald Ziegler
White House Telephone

President Nixon: Yeah?
White House Operator: [White House Press Secretary] Mr. [Ronald L.] Ziegler, sir.
President Nixon: Yeah.
White House Operator: There you are.
Ronald L. Ziegler: Mr. President.
President Nixon: Yeah.
Ziegler: Secretary [of Defense Melvin R.] Laird refers to this today in his Air Force Academy speech, where he says it will be less than 20, and he says--”he refers to it as being down 90 percent and talks about the 1965. They released that text last night. I think that's probably where--”
President Nixon: Oh . . . right.
Ziegler: --”[ABC News anchorman ]Howard K. Smith got it.1
President Nixon: Right. OK.
Ziegler: But he indicates that they will formally--”you know, the official announcement--”
President Nixon: That's just fine.
Ziegler: --”will be made Thursday. So that's where that came from.
President Nixon: That's fine.
President Nixon: [speaking to White House Chief of Staff H.R. "Bob" Haldeman] It was Laird that did it.

1ABC News had announced that there were fewer than 20 casualties in Vietnam in the previous week. ↑

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