115. Conversation Between President Nixonand his Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) 1

[Omitted here is discussion related to Kissinger’s trip to the Soviet Union.]

Kissinger: On China, I’m getting worried. I’m beginning to think that they [the Soviet Union] want to attack China. [unclear, Brezhnev?] took me hunting. He—you hunt there from a tower. You sit in a tower and shoot these poor bastards as they come by to feed. They put out the food. Well, when night fell, and he had killed about three boars and God knows what else—and that’s when it was dark—he unpacked a picnic dinner and said: “Look, I want to talk to you privately—nobody else, no notes.”2 And he said: “Look, you will be our partners, you and we are going to run the world”—

Nixon: Who’d he use as translator on that?

Kissinger: Sukhodrev. And he said: “The President and I are the only ones who can handle things.” He said: “We have to prevent the Chinese from having a nuclear program at all costs.” I’ve got to get that information to the Chinese, and we’ve got to play a mean game here—

Nixon: I know.

Kissinger: —because I don’t think we can let the Russians jump the Chinese.

Nixon: No.

[Page 452]

Kissinger: I think the change in the world balance of power would be—

Nixon: [unclear]

Kissinger: —too unbelievable.

Nixon: We all know that.

Kissinger: And, uh—so he [unclear] on politics, he said: “Anything you want,” he said, “the Republicans have to be back in in ‘76.” He said: “Anything we—”

Nixon: He didn’t give you the crap on Watergate [unclear] been exposed to here?

Kissinger: The only thing on Watergate that Dobrynin said—

Nixon: Don’t let it get you down, Henry—

Kissinger: No. And, now, Dobrynin, the basic—the only thing Dobrynin is complaining about is the amateurishness of the guys who did it. He said: “Why did you do it out of the White House?”

Nixon: [unclear]

Kissinger: But, I’m just telling you what Dobry—that’s the only—

Nixon: Well—

Kissinger: —the only concern the Russians have is they hate the Democrats. I mean, you should hear Brezhnev on Jackson. It’s not to be believed.

Nixon: Good.

Kissinger: And he says they want you [unclear]—

Nixon: Oh—did they get into the business of—of the—that doggone exit visa, and that other thing?

Kissinger: Yeah.

Nixon: I worked with the Senators [unclear]—

[unclear exchange]

Kissinger: —promised it wouldn’t be re-introduced. I gave them a list of those 42 people who are being kept.

Nixon: Yeah?

Kissinger: And they promised—

Nixon: And if we look at all we can do [unclear] “Just don’t let it”—I keep threatening the Senators that if they continue to insist on Jackson, it’ll blow the whole thing. Now, you know it won’t, but my point is—

Kissinger: Oh, it will. Who knows?

Nixon: What I meant is, it won’t because we’re going to get Jackson modified.

Kissinger: Yeah.

[Page 453]

Nixon: Jackson’s got to be modified in a way that they could be given [unclear]. I have threatened the hell out of the Senators.

Kissinger: Yeah.

Nixon: But, did he mention—is there anything they know about that?

Kissinger: Well, he said that if the Jackson Amendment goes through, no Jew is going to leave the Soviet Union again.

Nixon: That’s right.

Kissinger: He—he said to me—

Nixon: That’s the point I’ve been making.

Kissinger: Well, you can’t repeat this, but he said—he took me aside privately, he said: “Do you know what your people are doing?” He said: “The Jews are already the privileged group—in a way, a privileged group. They live in cities, they’re the only group that can have an exit visa. No one else receives an exit visa, and you people keep humiliating us you’re going to create worst anti-Semitism ever in the Soviet Union.” And I believe that it’s true.

Nixon: We can—we’re going to work on the Jackson Amendment. I’m working my tail on it, Henry, but . . .

[Omitted here is discussion of the Middle East.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Oval Office, Conversation No. 916–14. No classification marking. The editor transcribed the portion of the conversation printed here specifically for this volume. This is part of a conversation that took place from 10:15 a.m. to 12:03 p.m.
  2. No record of this conversation was found.