603-001

Date: 
Wednesday, October 27, 1971 - 9:40am - 12:22pm
Participants: 
Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Bob Haldeman, Ronald Ziegler
Location: 
Oval Office
Listen: 


The President met with Chief of Staff H.R. "Bob" Haldeman and National Security Adviser Henry A. Kissinger. Kissinger complained about what he termed Secretary of State William P. Rogers' jealousy regarding the diplomatic opening to China and Kissinger's role in nuclear arms negotiations.

[45:00 on 603A]

Henry A. Kissinger: You can go down in history as the man who opened up China if we play this thing coolly and well and if we keep our own people from destroying our victory.

President Nixon: Well, they're not going to destroy the victory.

H.R. "Bob" Haldeman: And it's easy [unclear]--”

Kissinger: Look at the Russian summit.

President Nixon: Huh?

Kissinger: And the same with the Russian summit.

President Nixon: This is the [unclear].

Kissinger: Your big achievement, Mr. President, is--”what we have to build about you is the man of the cool, calm, farsighted deliberation, who doesn't panic, who knows what he's doing. To write a cloying letter to [Leonard] Brezhnev and get a cloying reply, anybody can do that. That's [John F.] Kennedy on the Test Ban [Treaty]. Your game is that you foresee it in--[19]68 and say it in the campaign, and you do it in--[19]69, and then it works in--[19]71 just as you planned it. [a46:06]

[Gap] --“ 114:50 on to 116:20. Ziegler enters to discuss his daily press briefing.

Ronald L. Ziegler: On the AEC thing, I'm going to say that, it's moving on the wire that they have the press conference scheduled for 12:30, so when I'm asked about that--

President Nixon: Who?

Ziegler: AEC. The Atomic Energy Commission.

President Nixon: On Amchitka? I want that announced today.

Kissinger: It's going to be announced.

President Nixon: That will be very--

Ziegler: I will be asked, and I'll say you made the--you have made the--

President Nixon: Yeah, I have made the decision. It'll be announced at two o'clock today. Now incidentally, you know the significance of that? You don't, you don't realize it, or maybe you do, that helps us.

Kissinger: Of course I do.

President Nixon: --on the right.

Kissinger: Oh yeah.

President Nixon: See? Because they've all thought we weren't going to do it.

Haldeman: Tell [Governor Ronald W.] Reagan [R-California] we're taking unmitigated heat in order to keep that thing going. We need all the support of the right or we're going to lose [unclear], too.

President Nixon: That's right. That's right.

Ziegler: [indistinct as we he walks out] about the announcement this afternoon should I [unclear]--at 4 [o'clock].

Kissinger: Because he built it up too much.

President Nixon: I'm delighted that the Amchitka thing is going's on. That's great.

Kissinger: Yeah, it was supposed to be announced on Friday, but it's better to do it--

President Nixon: It's better--well, you weren't there. [To Ziegler] All right, now, good luck.

Ziegler: OK, sir. Thank you.

President Nixon: You'll handle them well.

Kissinger: I told it to [Chinese Premier] Chou [En-lai], I said I just want you to know it's going to happen. He said, "We don't care. We are exploding them." He said, "Tell it to the Russians."

Haldeman: [Laughs.]

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