President Eisenhower, President Trump, Robert Cutler discussed on Coast to Coast AM

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Establish arms must be might be ready for instant action, so that no can tell aggressor may be tempted to Rick his own destruction. And of course, the voice of white David Eisenhower. I'm delighted of I mean, really delighted to welcome Peter Schinkel, dilly program is the author of a new book, I mystery man, the secret lives wives of Robert Cutler, Robert Cutler was the first national security advisor to a president of the United States of America. White d is our. He was also gay. And this book is one of the most fascinating reads, the story of Robert Cutler is absolutely astounding, and we're going to talk with him about this, and I've got so many questions for you, Peter, but first, let me just set it up. Robert Cutler was an American government official the first person appointed as a national security advisor to the president of the United States. He served white Eisenhower in that role between nineteen fifty three and fifty five and then again from fifty seven to fifty eight. Interestingly enough. This man became Eisenhower's eyes, and ears on the world. And his nephew, is great nephew discovered a secret, so Peter, I hope I've set it up for you. Peter Schinkel is with us. Peter, tell us how you discovered about your great uncle. Well, it was during a family vacation. Many years ago about thirteen years ago. Now back in two thousand six I was in Rhode Island with my mother and my aunt and the subject of their ankle. Robert Cutler came up. And my aunt said, well, he was gay, of course. And I said, of course, so it was not, of course at all, but among the family and my mother's generation, they all knew and they all understood this to be true. But it was not widely talked about art and let me ask you the question, because he is also the author of a an executive order that had a huge impact on this question of whether or not well, who should be hired for public office describe that memo. Sure, what you're talking about is the executive order one zero four five zero 'cause I signed by President Eisenhower, in April of nineteen fifty three so about three months after he took office, and that, of course, in that era under the influence of Herbert Jagger, Hoover and Joseph McCarthy and others. There was a lot of turmoil surrounding allegations that there were homosexuals and communists in the federal government. And so during the campaign, nineteen fifty two President Eisenhower had won the support of Senator McCarthy, it's often forgotten that I actually campaigned with McCarthy and built. A tentative alliance with him now. I oppose McCarthy's methods, but he needed his votes to win that election. He needed what would today called McCarthy's base. So he joined forces McCarthy and after he took office and won the election and took office. I felt he had return a favor. And, and he, he himself believed that it was important to get what he considered to be subversives out of the US government. Well, there had been drafted under president Truman a an order that was to tighten security federal employees, because this is something that president Truman, also had agreed need to be done, but Truman never adopted instead left it in draft form. So when I took office in January, fifty three Bobby Cutler had learned about. This draft. And he brought it to ice attention and recommended it and I call this a the a peculiar ban on homosexuals because there was virtually no discussion of why this needed to be done. And there was the, the order itself refers to homosexual homosexual homosexuality as sexual perversion, but it doesn't define it in any manner. And Furthermore, we have no statements from the president at the time as to why it was necessary. But in some. Robert Cutler's recommendation and after some process, it was put into place and it set the stage for a ban on homosexuals in the federal government reportedly, as many as ten thousand were driven out of the federal government, some committed suicide of many had their lives thrown into utter disarray. It was a it was a terrible time and your great uncle. What's point out was gay? I would just want to let everybody know it's executive order one, oh, four five oh. Signed on April twenty-seventh nineteen hundred and fifty three we should also point out that you're right. Uncle on March thirty first nineteen fifty-five received the medal of freedom for his outstanding contribution to the security, and defence of our nation. I want you to describe his role with Eisenhower as national security adviser, and how they linked. Yup. Sure. Well, they, they I got to know each other at the end of the world. Segue war about which Bobby color finished with the rank of Brigadier General, and Bobby soon, joined with his friend from Boston Senator Henry Cabot lodge in a few years. I should say, let me just interrupt Henry Cabot lodge junior who was the United States Senator from Massachusetts. And in nineteen fifty two was instrumental in getting Eisenhower to run for president of the United States. As a Republican. Go ahead. Exactly. And after I was in fact, nominated and election say that Bobby color also helped him winning the nomination, I invited him to go on his campaign train as he went around the United States in the fall of nineteen fifty two. And so he developed a very strong relationship with Ike and that included working on an array of national security issues, including the, the idea of advancing or developing a little neglected or a somewhat neglected body of the federal government, the national Security Council and making it into the preeminent tool for creating national security policy in the government, I actually gave to campaign speeches during the campaign. In the fall of nineteen fifty urging the national Security Council be revamped and expanded. And and use more effectively, now, let me ask you because your great uncle was horrified by the front of a nuclear holocaust. And you know that on the biographer of herald staff, and they formed a common front, if you will, in dealing with explain to us what got Bobby Cutler, so worked up about a potential for nuclear war. Well, the first thing was that in nineteen fifty three he invited j Robert Oppenheimer the father of the nuclear bomb and director of the Los Alamos laboratory to come into the national Security Council and speak to the national security outs. So about the threat of a nuclear war by that time up in Heimer had become extremely concerned about the risks of nuclear war. Let's remind everybody in south point, the Russians the Soviet Union had a nuclear weapon, United States had a nuclear weapon, and there was a fear that these two superpowers might engage in a nuclear confrontation. Go ahead. That's right. And they were both developing nuclear arsenals at that time at a at a at a rapid pace already in nineteen fifty three and Oppenheimer was horrified by this. And he urged president, I how to adopt a policy of candor in which the president would speak more openly we as the American people and. Is an speech in one thousand nine hundred fifty three before the United Nations and your great, uncle had a big hand in that describe it. Well, he helped him develop that speech and he helped him by supporting Oppenheimer and, and urging this policy of candor, he set the stage for that speech, and ultimately, while Oppenheimer would be separated from his role in the government out of concerns that he was a communist that speech would lay the stage for a lay the groundwork for creation of the International Atomic Energy agency, and that would go on to the body that it is today, the preeminent mechanism for fighting the spread of nuclear weapons. Now, I haven't front of me the minutes of the one hundred and fifty fifth meeting of the national Security Council on Thursday, July. Sixteenth nineteen fifty three and it says, president, of course, the president of the United States, presiding the vice president. The secretary of state. John Foster Dulles Charlie Wilson, who was secretary of defense, Harold, east Asan director of mutual security, and Arthur Fleming director of the office of defense, mobilization and Robert Cutler special assistant to the president. How important was the interaction between your great uncle and Eisenhower? And how did he get along with John Foster Dulles who was secretary of state, by the way, we used to say, they'll Dolor Dulles, go ahead? Well, I you know, I had tremendous confidence in Bobby Cutler, and we're lied upon him to establish the agenda for the NFC meetings and to brief the president prior to those meetings and to ensure that everybody all the members of the NFC were given full information so that they could prepare for those meetings. So I can visioned the NFC as a place where there would be a robust conversation and all the pros and cons of proposed national security policy would be hashed out and argued out, and it wouldn't just be a cursory thing either prior to each meeting, there would be staff members Augusta gating issues, ensuring that they had the proper information necessary to fashion policy. Have to tell you the minutes of this meeting include a memorandum by the special assistant to the president, your great uncle. That is absolutely brilliant. So the national Security Council was not a rubber stamp what Eisenhower envisioned, and what your great uncle envisioned, and what you write about so eloquently in this book is the. Idea of putting everything out on the table and really arguing about of is that correct? That's right. That's right. So Cutler is, is considered the preeminent example of the national security adviser, who acts as an honest broker, which means that he gives everybody a chance to have their say, on an issue if they want to, or let me ask then okay, go ahead. The other side of that policy would be exemplified just in the next term under president Kennedy and many others subsequent, national security, advisors where they take a more advisory role, so where they recommend policy, and they advocate for it, and they're not so concerned about giving everybody a chance to have their say, and to comment and to point out to probe to pointed problems, very different than the Trump White House. I just want to ask you. A mentioned some names, I just want you to describe Bobby, Cutler's relationship with them. I white Eisenhower. Close friend, a tremendous, Bobby. I guess this hero John's. He go ahead. John Foster Dulles, who was secretary of state and a very powerful figure. I think Bobby spectral relationship with John Foster Dulles, he nonetheless by nine hundred fifty seven became extremely concerned that he was failing to, to conduct his affairs conduct the national affairs properly with the Soviets would are the risk of war of war. Breaking out my old boss. Harold stassen. I think my impression is that Bobby respected herald staff, and as a, a truly committed civil servant, a person who wanted to do the right thing, and a very smart man. Richard nixon. Good question. There's lots of little chitchat and postcards between Bobby color and Richard Nixon. But I think that, you know, Bobby seem to go gone quickly toward wreck investigating that. The idea of -ike dumping dick Nixon during the nineteen fifty two campaigns d-6. Oh, fifty two in the dump Nixon, that was an fifty six fifty two. It was the checkers scandal. Aware was accused of corruption. Right. Right. And you're thinking of fifty six when it rose again, governor staff, considered that as a decade, but I'm seeking fifty two. I think that color kind of held Nixon at an arm's length but he worked with him. Nonetheless, four one five, eight zero eight zero eight ten I already have people calling, we have a lot to talk about. And I want to remind you that, Peter Schinkel will be at the Commonwealth club on may twenty third at twelve noon. That's at one ten embarked Darrow. Tickets are still available. You can either go to the common wealth club dot org. Or you can call four one five five nine seven six seven zero five..

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