247. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Discussion with the President—1 September 1964

Following the NSC meeting (memorandum of the meeting prepared by Dr. Cline and attached),2 I had a private meeting with the President. This meeting was in lieu of my attendance at the regular Tuesday luncheon which was to involve political matters and therefore my presence was not required.

1. I explained in detail the extent of CIA’s support [less than 1 line not declassified] which included the operation of 41 combat and transport aircraft, supplying with adequate number of pilots for these aircraft [less than 1 line not declassified] obtaining foreign ground crews [1½ lines not declassified]. I explained that this was the best means of reducing the “U.S. Presence in the Congo”, which was desirable, and met the complaint of Senators Russell and Stennis. I pointed out to the President however that some place along the line CIA would be criticized and accused of operating contrary to U.S. policy and this could not be avoided [less than 1 line not declassified]. Nevertheless it would help [less than 1 line not declassified] to stabilize the Congo, if doing so is possible, and it was better that CIA take the criticism than have the U.S. Government criticized. The President agreed.

[Omitted here is discussion of unrelated topics.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, DCI/McCone Files: Job 80B01285A, DCI Meetings with the President, 01 May–31 October 1964. Top Secret. Drafted by McCone on September 2.
  2. Not attached.