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John F. Kennedy Oral History Collection
In this interview Robert F. Kennedy [RFK] discusses beginning John F. Kennedy's [JFK] presidential Administration with no political obligations; carefully picking Cabinet members, specifically Secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury; RFK’s decision on what role to play in JFK’s Administration; JFK’s unhappiness with Dean Rusk as Secretary of State; JFK’s advisers and other presidential appointments; Cabinet meetings; Department of Justice organization under RFK; the first 100 days of the Kennedy Administration; the role of the Vice President, according to RFK; JFK’s relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson and why JFK put Johnson on the ticket in 1960; what JFK was most concerned with as President; domestic programs versus foreign affairs in the Kennedy Administration; Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.’s role during JFK’s presidency; the Bay of Pigs, the aftermath, and its effect on JFK; how JFK approached problems as President; dealing with Georgi Bolshakov; negotiating with the Soviet Union in Vienna, over Laos and Cuba, etc.; JFK’s relationship with foreign heads of state; State Department staff and U.S. Ambassadors; the military coup in Vietnam; the Berlin crisis of the summer of 1961 and the Berlin Wall; RFK’s 1961 trip to the Ivory Coast; and Soviet and American nuclear testing, among other issues.