Interview with Nicholas Katzenbach
QUESTION 21
INTERVIEWER:

OK LET'S JUST STEP DOWN ONE MORE TIME. OK, I GUESS, GENERALLY THE QUESTION IS, YOU KNOW, WHAT WAS PRESIDENT JOHNSON'S FEELINGS ABOUT MEETING WITH DR. KING ON ANY OCCASION?

Nicholas Katzenbach:

Well, the President, President Johnson, met often with Civil Rights leaders, but he was very reluctant to meet with one uh, at a time. Uh, he did not wish, although Dr. King clearly was uh, I think by 1965 the, the principle uh, leader in terms of the number of followers and so forth that he had, uh, the President had great respect for other leaders, uh, for Jim Farmer, for uh Roy Wilkins, uh, uh, and uh, and uh, others so he liked to meet with them all at once, and there was sometimes uh, uh, Dr. King wanted to meet with him alone, because Dr. King considered himself to be the real leader of the black movement uh, with some reason to feel that way, uh, but the President didn't want to uh, endorse that uh, to have a blessing upon that for fear of alienating other civil rights leaders for whom he had also the greatest uh, respect, so he liked to meet with them all at once, AND there was occasionally uh, a little bit of disagreement about that uh, between Dr. King and, and others.