Richard Nixon and H. R. “Bob” Haldeman on 3 July 1971


Transcript

Edited by Ken Hughes, with Kieran K. Matthews and Marc J. Selverstone

The President recounted for his chief of staff the story White House Counsel Charles W. “Chuck” Colson told him about having aides pose as reporters for Time magazine and call the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find out who was responsible for the BLS statement attributing a sharp drop in the unemployment rate to a statistical quirk.

President Nixon

And they all said it was [Harold] Goldstein.[note 1] Harold Goldstein was assistant commissioner of labor statistics. [Unclear exchange.] I said, “Who were they?”

H. R. “Bob” Haldeman

You said what?

President Nixon

I said, “What kind of people were they?” I said, “Were they all Jews?” He said, “Yes.” Everyone who answered was a Jew. Now, point: [Frederic V.] Malek is not Jewish.[note 2] Frederic V. Malek was White House personnel director.

Haldeman

No.

President Nixon

All right. I want a look at any sensitive areas around where Jews are involved, Bob. See, the Jews are all through the government, and we have got to get in those areas. We’ve got to get a man in charge who is not Jewish to control the Jewish . . . do you understand?

Haldeman

I sure do.

President Nixon

The government is full of Jews.

Haldeman

I sure do.

President Nixon

Second, most Jews are disloyal. You know what I mean? You have a [Leonard] Garment and a [Henry A.] Kissinger and, frankly, a [William L.] Safire.[note 3] Leonard Garment was special consultant to the president from May 1969 to May 1973, and acting counsel to the president from May 1973 to June 1974. Henry A. Kissinger was national security adviser from January 1969 to November 1975, and U.S. secretary of state from September 1973 to January 1977. William L. Safire was a White House speechwriter. And, by God, they’re exceptions. But, Bob, generally speaking, you can’t trust the bastards. They turn on you. [Unclear]—correct? Am I wrong or right?

Haldeman

Sure, and their whole orientation is against this administration anyway, or against you.

President Nixon

No, but they have this arrogant attitude, too.

Haldeman

That’s right.

President Nixon

So.

Haldeman

And they’re smart. They have the ability to do what they want to do, which is to hurt us. Which is a problem. They have the ability—some people that [unclear]

President Nixon

Henry, interestingly enough, doesn’t have many Jews. He’s only got, I mean, he got this one . . .

Haldeman

He’s got quite a few.

President Nixon

Horrible bastard, I don't know, who’s probably all right.

Haldeman

[Helmut “Hal”] Sonnenfeldt?[note 4] Helmut “Hal” Sonnenfeldt served on the National Security Council Staff.

President Nixon

I don’t know—may be all right. He's got—just looks . . . I don’t tend to judge a person by his looks. That’s wrong. It’s terribly wrong.

Haldeman

Of course, he had [Morton H.] Halperin.[note 5] Morton H. Halperin served on Kissinger’s NSC Staff from January 1969 to September 1969, then as an NSC consultant September 1969 from May 1970. He previously served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.

President Nixon

Yeah, I know, but you know, look at his others. He’s got [Alexander M.] Haig [Jr.].[note 6] Alexander M. Haig Jr. served as military assistant to the president from January 1969 to June 1970; deputy national security adviser from June 1970 to January 1973; Army vice chief of staff from January to May 1973; and White House chief of staff from May 1973 to August 1974. His secretary’s not Jewish. Very interesting, you know? I’ve watched all the girls [unclear]

Haldeman

And his aides—none of his aides have ever been Jewish. Even Tony Lake, who turned on us.[note 7] William Anthony Kirsopp “Tony” Lake was special assistant to Henry A. Kissinger on the NSC staff from January 1969 to April 1970

President Nixon

That’s right.

Haldeman

But his—the guys, the young guys that he’s always had . . .

President Nixon

Was Tony Lake homosexual?

Haldeman

I don’t think so. I wondered about that.

President Nixon

He looked it.

Haldeman

I know it.

President Nixon

OK.

Haldeman

But so, in a way, did David Young, who—

President Nixon

Wasn’t.

Haldeman

—was one of his replacements.[note 8] David R. Young was a special assistant on the NSC staff from January 1970 to July 1971; on the Domestic Council staff from July 1971 to April 1973; and co-director of the Special Investigations Unit/Plumbers from July 1971 to an indeterminate date. And David Young sure as hell isn’t, no.

President Nixon

All right. I tell you—

Haldeman

David Young is a hell of a good guy. I wish—

President Nixon

Good.

Haldeman

But Henry’s kicked him down into the woodwork again.

President Nixon

Why?

Haldeman

He’s doing very sensitive work, and it’s probably good, but he’s . . .

President Nixon

Henry needs him, doesn’t he?

Haldeman

Yeah. He was using him as an aide. He burns them out, though. He can only keep a guy for six months or so, and the guy, he just—

President Nixon

Crashes.

Haldeman

—literally burns them out.

President Nixon

Who was the guy he first had? Do you remember?

Haldeman

[Lawrence S.] Eagleburger.[note 9] Lawrence S. Eagleburger was an assistant to Henry A. Kissinger in 1969 and political adviser to the U.S. Mission to NATO from 1969 to 1971.

President Nixon

What the hell became of him?

Haldeman

Larry Eagleburger. He’s still over in Belgium, I think.

Four seconds excised by the National Archives and Records Administration as private information.

Cite as

“Richard Nixon and H. R. ‘Bob’ Haldeman on 3 July 1971,” Conversation 536-016 (PRDE Excerpt A), Presidential Recordings Digital Edition [Chasing Shadows, ed. Ken Hughes] (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2014–). URL: http://prde.upress.virginia.edu/conversations/4006745