34. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and Secretary of State Rogers1
K: I was having lunch with Irwin and I thought I would stop by. You haven’t had any thoughts? I don’t think we should try it.2 I don’t see what we can do now.
R: I don’t either.
K: It wasn’t a firm question. It would give an impression of frantic activity.
R: Did you have any discussion with Dobrynin on—
K: They wanted to reaffirm it. They are interested. They are prepared to discuss it [omission in transcript] terms of agenda. Two problems—looked like an election ploy and it looked like a sudden change to them. I am sending you the note. It’s very brief. They specifically reaffirmed the invitation and interest.
R: Just the election ploy is understandable.
K: I told you, from our point of view, I am not sure it’s not a blessing. We would have had a lot of explaining to do.
R: I don’t see why we should announce it so far in advance. Some in advance but—
K: Jan. or Feb. we might need it. I don’t think it would add to the situation.
R: Other talks with Dobrynin.
K: There were no other talks.
R: When you saw him in NY3 they didn’t indicate it was all right and then back away from it?
K: He asked when we wanted to announce it. He thought the 30th and I said the President thought the 29th. He said I would have an answer by next week. 99% of discussion was Cuba. I have written that up and will let you have it.4 Other topic was just to clarify between the 29th and 30th.[Page 134]
R: I saw him at dinner last night but he didn’t raise the subject. We will let it stand.
K: Maybe in late Nov. or Dec. you could start generally talking about an agenda. I don’t want to get in it.
R: On the other subject, tell the President there’s nothing that isn’t contrived.
K: If you try you pay for it later. In fact, now it will look obvious. Many elements of the bureaucracy would say they hadn’t heard of it.
R: The President looks great anyway.
K: Considering difficulties we have overcome—
R: Not an issue in the campaign.
K: No one attacking him.
R: Position on Israel is good.
K: We have pulled out of that.
R: We met with the Arabs last night—Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco and very friendly.
K: Considering we are in morass we are doing well.
R: See you at 4:00 tomorrow.5
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 7, Chronological File. No classification marking.↩
- Reference is to the abortive plan to announce a summit meeting. See Document 32.↩
- See Document 29.↩
- See footnote 1, Document 29, and footnote 1, Document 32.↩
- No record has been found to indicate that Kissinger and Rogers met on October 29.↩