234. Telegram From the White House Chief of Staff (Haig) to Secretary of State Kissinger in Tel Aviv1
Tohak 100/WH32636. We are all very proud of your Herculean accomplishment. Unfortunately, you will be returning to an environment of major national crisis which has resulted from the firing of Cox and the resulting resignation of Richardson and Ruckelshaus. Because the situation is at a stage of white heat, the ramifications of the accomplishments in Moscow have been somewhat eclipsed and their true significance underplayed. For this reason, it is essential that you participate fully in maintaining the national perspective and that a major effort be made to refocus national attention on the President’s role in the Middle East settlement. An impeachment stampede could well develop in the Congress tomorrow although we are confident that cooler heads will prevail if the President’s assets are properly applied.
As of now, the President believes that it is essential that we have a bipartisan leadership meeting tomorrow at the White House during which you can report in detail on the Middle East situation, lacing this report with heavy emphasis on the President’s accomplishments thus far and the need for national unity and a steady hand in the critical days ahead. Following this, it is equally essential that you brief on-camera the White House press corps on the results of the Moscow discussions. I cannot overemphasize the importance of this, recog[Page 669]nizing full well the burden on you personally and the risks that may be associated with hyping the Middle East at a critical juncture in the negotiations. In this one instance, it is most important that some effort be made to refocus national attention on the critical events in the Middle East and to emphasize above all the crucial role of the Presidential leadership.
We plan to have the bipartisan leaders at either 9:00 AM or 3:00 PM tomorrow. Please advise which time you prefer by Flash return message.
Warm personal regards,
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 39, Kissinger Trip Files, HAK Trip—Moscow, Tel Aviv, London, TOHAK 61–123, Oct. 20–23, 1973. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only; Flash. Sent through Scowcroft to Rodman forKissinger.↩