335. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and President Nixon1

K: Hello.

P: Henry.

K: Mr. President.

P: I want you to take the Fourth off now so . . . I just looked over the news thing, nothing new here. It’s relatively quiet. The Latin Americans are having their usual—you know I think that Chilean guy may have some problems.

K: Oh, he has massive problems. He has definitely massive problems.

P: If only the Army could get a few people behind them.

K: And that coup last week—we had nothing to do with it but still it came off apparently prematurely.

P: That’s right and the fact that he just set up a Cabinet without any military in it is, I think, very significant.

K: It’s very significant.

P: Very significant because those military guys are very proud down there and they just may—right?

K: Yes, I think he’s definitely in difficulties.

P: Well, we won’t have to send the ITT down to help, will we?

K: (Laughs) That’s another one of these absurdities. Because whenever the ITT came to us we turned them off. I mean we never did anything for them.

P: I never even knew they came.

K: They came once because Flanigan had set it up. You didn’t know it. I didn’t tell you because it required no action and I listened to them and said “Thank you very much” and that was that.

P: Frankly you know we left it to Helms and he and the Ambassador and so forth, they screwed it up.

K: Exactly. It’s the Ambassador who screwed it up.

P: You remember.

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K: Oh yes, you remember, if we had in ’64 they put $2 million behind Frei.2 In that election they had altogether $400 thousand which they split evenly among the opposing parties.

P: That’s a disaster.

K: So it didn’t do any good. We might as well have given nothing.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Chile.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 378, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The President was at the Western White House in San Clemente, California and Kissinger was in Washington.
  2. Regarding the 1964 election, see Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. XXXI, South and Central America; Mexico, Documents 250, 258, 262, and 267.