252. Editorial Note

In a letter to the President, June 8, 1966, Director of Central Intelligence Raborn indicated that he “would like to leave government service at your earliest convenience.” (Johnson Library, White House Central Files, EX FG 11–2) The President discussed the issue briefly with Senator Mansfield during a telephone conversation that began at 8:45 a.m. on June 10:

President: “Just between us, Mike, our friend Raborn is leaving us. He’s kinda like Mann and he’s quitting, and so I rather think I might put in Helms. Do you have any reaction?”

Mansfield: “Oh I don’t even know the fellow. I have no reaction to him. He’s the one you said that’s the old pro down there?”

President: “Yup. I don’t know how he’d get along with the Hill. He doesn’t know a thing in the world about politics. Never got elected.”

Mansfield: “Well that’s an important factor you have to consider.”

President: “Yes it is. Yes it is. He’s a newspaper man, and he gets along with all the press, and they all like him, and all the folks like him and seem to trust him more than they do a fellow with a military background. They didn’t like McCone much.”

Mansfield: “Yes, they liked McCone. He was pretty good.” (Johnson Library, Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of a Telephone Conversation between the President and Mansfield, Tape 66.16, Side B, PNO 1) The portion of the conversation printed here was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume.

Raborn’s tenure as Director of Central Intelligence ended on June 30, 1966. He was succeeded the same day by Richard Helms, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.