Thursday, June 17, 1971 - 8:25pm - 8:28pm
Richard Nixon, Edward Hebert
White House Telephone

President Nixon: Yeah?

White House Operator: Congressman [F. Edward] Hebert [D-Louisiana]. There you are.

President Nixon: Hello?

F. Edward Hebert: That was a lulu today.1

President Nixon: Yeah, I wanted to tell you that was a great job you did. Everybody tells me you really smacked them.

Hebert: Well, I appreciate it.

President Nixon: Well, and--”

Hebert: Appreciate your call.

President Nixon: And you--”

Hebert: You know they didn't come within 100 votes of us?

President Nixon: I just couldn't believe it.

Hebert: I couldn't believe it either.

President Nixon: When I heard it that we got over 90, I mean, over a 90 majority--”

Hebert: We beat them bigger on the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] this year than we beat them last year--”

President Nixon: Yeah, that's terrific.

Hebert: --”and the final passage was 335, I think, to--”331 to 58.

President Nixon: Great.

Hebert: Not a single amendment. The only amendments that were put on were the two we put on, two committee amendments.

President Nixon: Right.

Hebert: And we beat them down on everything they tried.

President Nixon: Right, that's great.

Hebert: Beat them down on the B-1, we--”everything.2

President Nixon: That's really great. Well, that's a marvelous job.

Hebert: Well, it was nice of you to call me.

President Nixon: Well, that's great, that's great.

Hebert: And I do appreciate it a lot.

President Nixon: Well, that's--”we've got to fight for the right things, you know?

Hebert: [Laughs.] We've got to fight, boy.

President Nixon: You know, after our experience--”

Hebert: [Laughs.] We can write a book.

President Nixon: After our experience, I was just thinking of the shameful New York Times thing of what we went through so many years ago.

Hebert: Oh.

President Nixon: I was just wondering, you know, what in the world do responsible publishers think about to put out trunkloads of secret documents?

Hebert: It's getting worse everyday.

President Nixon: It's awful, isn't it?

Hebert: It's getting awful. I mean, there's no responsibility.

President Nixon: I mean, and it's, I mean, as I said, it's no skin off--”from a political standpoint, it's no skin off our back.

Hebert: Oh, I think as far as this latest thing that's happened [it's] in your favor.

President Nixon: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But, we get no comfort out of that. It would destroy the presidency.

Hebert: It can hurt somebody and the next guy coming along.

President Nixon: That's what they're trying to do, too.

Hebert: That's exactly what they're trying to do. [Unclear.]

President Nixon: Yeah, yeah. We'll fight it all the way. And I'm telling you, I told [Attorney General John N.] Mitchell, by God, we're going to find--”we think we know the guy that did this. He's a fellow that worked--”this Ellsberg3 who worked in the Defense Department, and by golly we're going to get him and he's going to go to jail.

Hebert: That's the only thing to do to with him.

President Nixon: That's right. He's got to go to jail for this.

Hebert: It's the only thing to do.

President Nixon: That's right.

Hebert: Well, [unclear] anyway [unclear].

President Nixon: [Chuckles.] Good to see you, Eddie.

Hebert: Got to see my colleague, bring [unclear] along with me all the time.

President Nixon: All right. OK.

They laugh.

President Nixon: Bye.

Hebert: Thanks a lot for calling.


1 The House had defeated, 254--“158, a Vietnam withdrawal deadline. New York Times, 18 June 1971, --œHouse, Like Senate, Bards Deadline in Troop Pullout.-- (↑)

2 The B-1 was a U.S. strategic bomber designed to be a jet replacement for the aging B-52 aircraft. (↑)

3 Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers. (↑)

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