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These Post-Mortems Are Going to Get Worse and Worse

Pierre Salinger Talking with Reporters

White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger talking with reporters in his office on February 12, 1963.
Photo by Abbie Rowe.

In this clip from the November 2 ExComm meeting, Kennedy instructs the group not to talk to reporters. He designated two people the press could talk to: National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy and Special Counsel Ted Sorensen.

In the section immediately preceding this, Kennedy complains about press speculation about Khrushchev’s second letter. “It would be a great disaster if we gave the impression the United States government was charging Khrushchev [unclear] unstable because I would think it would cause him intense annoyance,” Kennedy said.

Tape 47, Presidential Recordings Collection, President’s Office Files, John F. Kennedy Library. Excerpt from a transcript to published in David Coleman, ed., The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy, volume 4 (New York: W.W. Norton, 2013).

Also published on Medium.