There are fantastic recordings of Lyndon Johnson's phone calls where for instance he discusses his apprehensions about Vietnam with Robert Macnamara. Likewise we have recordings of Richard Nixon speaking with Henry Kissinger, etc.

Are there similar recordings available for Reagan and every president since that just have not been declassified yet? Or even minutes from national security meetings in the situation room, things like that?

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    If anything, there is technically much more possible today. Doesn't want to say you can see that right away. Sometimes you have to wait a couple (or 60) years.
    – Jos
    Aug 26, 2021 at 4:27
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    Please re-phrase that into a history Q! Aug 26, 2021 at 8:58
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    Thank you for your question; please consider revising it to be more in line with our community expectations. Like other stacks, we expect questions to provide evidence of prior research. That helps us to understand the question, and avoids our repeating work you've already done. Our help center, and other stacks provide additional resources to assist with revisions. Please revise your question to document your preliminary research.
    – MCW
    Aug 26, 2021 at 10:23
  • Isn't there a Presidential library for Reagan?Isn't this where you'd start for that? Are you asking about documentation or specifically about phone calls? And there is a schedule for declassification for all classified documents, including meeting minutes.
    – MCW
    Aug 26, 2021 at 11:11

1 Answer 1


I'd say: not as long as anyone remembers what happened to Nixon. That seems to be the one use of memory that Trump employed: when meeting with the Russians from the start of his administration, he refused to even have the standard State Department witness in the meeting, and forbade the interpreters from writing up their notes.

OTOH, don't think about employing LBJ as a precedent for shielding his privacy: he seemed to have absolutely no sense of privacy. When Doris Goodwin was an intern she remembered he'd invite her into bed so he could answer her questions; she gave no other details! He used to continue his business meetings in the presidential "head" when he was obliged to dump on more than just his subordinates. I believe VP Humphrey was one such victim. He used to boast about the details of his "member" in settings that no other man would.

After the Biden White House gets done cooperating with the House committee investigating the Trump insurrection, who knows how that would thin the future herds seeking the presidency?

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