Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Following the Shooting of Senator Robert F. Kennedy

June 05, 1968

THERE ARE no words equal to the horror of this tragedy. Our thoughts and our prayers are with Senator Kennedy, his family, and the other victims.

All America prays for his recovery. We also pray that divisiveness and violence be driven from the hearts of men everywhere.

Note: The President's statement was made available by George E. Christian, Special Assistant to the President, at 6:45 a.m. He also issued the following announcement on the President's activities after he was informed of the shooting of Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York, in the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, Calif.

The President was notified of Senator Kennedy having been shot at 3:31 e.d.t., by Special Assistant Walt Rostow who had been called immediately by the White House Situation Room as first reports were received.

The President has been up since then, talking three times with the Attorney General, twice with Secret Service Director Jim Rowley, with Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, and with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

The President has asked that a protective U.S. Secret Service detail be placed with each presidential candidate and with their family. There is not authorizing legislation for this action, but the President has asked that this be done.

The President has directed the FBI to assist with supplying manpower if necessary to supplement the Secret Service details.

The President also talked this morning with Senator Monroney, Senator Dirksen, Senator Mansfield, and Congressman Tom Steed of Oklahoma. The President advised these Members of Congress of the actions he had taken in placing Secret Service details with each of the presidential candidates and discussed the need for authorizing legislation to follow up this action.

See also Items 293-295.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Following the Shooting of Senator Robert F. Kennedy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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