Tuesday, June 15, 1971 - 10:39am - 10:59am
Richard Nixon, Henry A. Kissinger
Oval Office

Henry A. Kissinger: [a64:16] The reason you have to be so tough, also, Mr. President, is because if this thing flies on the New York Times, they’re gonna do the same to you next year. They’re just going to move file cabinets out during the campaign. I mean, these guys—

President Nixon: Yeah, they’ll have the whole story of the Menu series and—1

Kissinger: Well, we keep our files separately, Mr. President—

President Nixon: I know.

Kissinger: They’d have to get—

President Nixon: Goddamn it, though, [Melvin R.] Laird will have a copy and [William] Rogers [unclear]. They both [unclear] write out their goddamn memorandums. That’s what my concern—

Kissinger: Yeah, but we don’t do business quite that way. We keep most of the files—

President Nixon: I know you do, Henry, but you know, I had these people in on Laos and we had the discussion—2

Kissinger: Oh, yeah, they have the memo—

President Nixon: —[unclear] memorandum. So it’s in their files. That’s what I’m [unclearworried about?].

Kissinger: Yeah.

President Nixon: Well, anyway. [Unclear] be their files [unclear].

Kissinger: But that they won’t—I don’t think any Cabinet member will leak his personal file. Now afterwards they may do it, but not in a campaign. [a65:12]


1 Menu was the code word for the secret bombing of Cambodia. (↑)

2 Since the dual bookkeeping system used to keep the bombing of Cambodia secret had worked, Nixon later used the same system to conceal his bombing of the Plain of Jars in Laos. (↑)

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