225. Memorandum for the Record1

SUBJECT

  • Discussion with the President alone on 28 April 1965—12:00 Noon
1.
I told the President that time had not permitted me to take Admiral Raborn abroad to introduce him to our counterparts with whom we work very closely in a number of European and Asian countries. I explained to the President that in discussing this subject with Secretary Rusk, he had felt that the trip might well be postponed for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the need for Admiral Raborn to be close by during the next few weeks. We therefore plan to [Page 502]make the trip about the middle of June, assuming that indications at that time are such that a trip of this nature would be useful from the standpoint of the Government and the Agency, and desired by Admiral Raborn. It was agreed this was probably a good idea; final decision was left to a later date.
2.
I raised the question of the importance of the President receiving intelligence information in person, and orally, in addition to receiving it through a written report, and recommended that some plan be worked out so that this could be done in the presence of the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense and the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, McGeorge Bundy. I said that if this were done, then he would receive the benefit of the opinions of the individuals and the interpretations that they placed on the intelligence reports and estimates and I thought this would be very much more valuable for him rather than only accepting the written report. I then recommended that Admiral Raborn appear at the Tuesday luncheon meetings, that they be scheduled so that items of interest to him would be first on the agenda and once disposed of, he could leave, because I recognized that a great many subjects arose at the Tuesday meetings which were not within the Admiral’s area of interest or province of activity. The President agreed with the suggestion and indicated his intention to work something out along the above suggested lines, or some alternative thereto.2 However, obviously, he could not be totally committal without discussing the idea with the interested parties.
3.
I then called the President’s attention to the letter I had written him3 in reference to the January 1962 letter from President Kennedy. This had been transmitted to President Johnson on 26 April 1965. I said that if Johnson concurred in the concept of President Kennedy with respect to the role and activities of the DCI, then a similar letter should be issued. The President felt this would be in order and this subject was subsequently discussed with Mr. Bundy. I would expect the President would act in this regard promptly although he will wish to coordinate the letter carefully with Messrs. Rusk, McNamara and Bundy.

[Omitted here is unrelated material.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files, Job 80–B01285A, DCI Meetings with the President. Secret; Eyes Only. Prepared by McCone.
  2. Raborn attended five Tuesday luncheons during 1965 and one during 1966 prior to leaving office on June 30. (Johnson Library, President’s Daily Diary)
  3. Document 224.