Tuesday, June 15, 1971 - 5:13pm - 6:03pm
Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger
Oval Office

Henry A. Kissinger: [b82:40] The Swedish prime minister [Olof Palme] has popped off, too. We just got a press ticker. I talked to Bill [Rogers] about it.

President Nixon: The Swedish prime minister?

Kissinger: He said that this proves that it was a war prepared by deceit, that the American government has undermined democracy, and it must withdraw unconditionally from Vietnam. I told Bill we have to call our ambassador back. [b83:03]

NARA Excision

Category: National Security
Duration: 22s

President Nixon: [b83:33] But you know, now isn’t that a hell of a damn thing?

Kissinger: Yeah.

President Nixon: ‘It proves the war—’ But also it shows that that’s part of the conspiracy, in my opinion.

Kissinger: Oh, yeah.

President Nixon: He wouldn’t otherwise pay any attention to it. Somebody got to him. Henry, there is a conspiracy. You understand?

Kissinger: I believe it now. I didn’t believe it formerly, but I believe it now.

President Nixon: There is. The fellow who leaked the papers, whether it’s [Leslie] Gelb or the Rand Corporation guy, he’s in conspiracy. [New York Times Reporter] Neil Sheehan’s a bastard. I’ve known him for years.

Kissinger: Oh, yes.

President Nixon: Terrible son—why [unclear]—

Kissinger: Well, the whole syndrome—[Clark] Clifford, the New York Times, the veterans—they don’t all happen at once by accident.1

President Nixon: Yeah. [b84:12]


1 Clifford had recently stated that the administration could negotiate the release of the POWs in 30 days and an end to America’s involvement in Vietnam by the end of 1971. Vietnam Veterans Against the War had demonstrated in Washington, DC, earlier that spring. (↑)

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