144. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and his Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)1

RN: Occurred to me that we should send to Henry, via Sonnenfeldt, the Sindlinger poll—he should know that the people are very emotional about this also. If you could pass on the thing that the protests here were not successful, there has been strong editorial support and the Sindlinger sort of hawk support.

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GH: I gave him all the statistics in the poll.2

RN: You did, well that’s fine. Colson talks with a lot of these politicians—he said that the President is taking the heat for what he is doing here. Don’t want any sort of spirit of the Kissinger breastfeeding in Moscow to say that we must mute things. I think they want the summit but they lied to him. When do you think they got the tanks?

GH: The equipment that I saw was all brand new.

RN: We shouldn’t talk about the hawk/dove sentiment. The cold fact is that we think Vietnam is more important than the summit. The Moscow trip may be helpful, sure. Candidly, part of the reason the I Corps thing and its magnitude was that for two weeks before we went to China and during and for two weeks after we were there, we were very muted. I can’t have this happen at the Moscow summit.

GH: I agree.

RN: I don’t need the warm opinions here about the summit—

GH: We have to be cautious that he is conscious of the college protestations.

RN: I don’t care about them—we are going to see this thing through. You have a message to him—should be getting a message to him.3

GH: I am sending his first message to you4 along with the battle stuff.

RN: How is An Loc.

GH: Still hairy.

RN: Please submit to Abrams for a strike in that area like one of the B 3 things. Abrams to take all assets in there and pop it for the full effect.

GH: I have talked to Abrams about this and he agrees. 28 B–52’s sortees right along An Loc yesterday.

RN: The B–3 had effect.

GH: He is confident that that is what did it.

GH: Ask him about An Loc—it is his decision.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 999, Haig Chronological Files, Haig Telcons [–] 1972 [2 of 2]. No classification marking. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Nixon placed the call from Camp David to Haig in Washington. (Ibid., White House Central Files)
  2. See Document 138.
  3. At 11:29 a.m. Haig sent the following message, via the White House Situation Room to Kissinger, in Moscow: “Have discussed your 008 [Document 140] with President. He is in full accord and wants you to know there is no doubt whatsoever about his total confidence and trust in you. He merely wanted you to know that in terms of his priorities, an honorable conclusion to Vietnam conflict far exceeds importance of Soviet summit. He knows you also share this view. Concerning your stay over through Monday, he agrees completely that decision is up to you based on your assessment of progress on Vietnam question.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 21, HAK’s Secret Moscow Trip Apr 72, TOHAK/HAKTO File [2 of 2]) For the discussion between Haig and Nixon on Kissinger’s message, see Document 142.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 142.