124. Editorial Note

In his diary entry for September 25, 1970, President’s Assistant H. R. Haldeman wrote the following: “[Kissinger] called at home tonight to say Rogers had called him in a blind rage, yelling at him, about the briefing [see Document 123]. Said K tricked P[resident] into [Page 271] hard line about Cuba. Also claims K indicated there’d be a new peace initiative and that’s why K going to Paris tonight (not true). Said ‘One of us has got to go’ and is going to P. K then felt he had to stay here to protect himself. Haig and I talked him into going.” (The Haldeman Diaries: Multimedia Edition)

The next day, September 26, Haldeman told the President about Kissinger’s call the previous evening. “P then had Haig in and went over the whole thing with both of us. Made it clear he felt K had erred in briefing yesterday, Haig said K knew it. P gave Haig his whole theory about how to handle crisis, said we couldn’t let KRogers battles get in way of dealing with substance. Recognizes both were tired and strained, but that will always be the case in a major crisis. Simply have to get them both to quit acting like little children, trying to nail the other and prove him wrong. Since P sees exactly what they’re doing, it’s obvious neither will get away with it. I told P I had agreed with K that maybe he should think of leaving, he felt it was good to shake him a little. Said if K does go, he’d put Haig in the spot. But would really be a major loss, and then State and Rogers would run rampant which would be very bad.” (Ibid.)

The President brought up the “KRogers battle” again on September 27, according to Haldeman’s diary. President “wants me to get into it and try to work it out. Real problem is ego of both and determination of both to justify themselves, instead of selling the P and his program. In any event, have to find a way to avoid these wrangles in future. Asked if I felt time had come that one had to go. I said no, but we did have to resolve the problem. He indicated that if one did go it would have to be K, and he’s obviously still thinking of Haig as replacement.” (Ibid.)