tv Book Discussion on Washington Journal CSPAN December 30, 2014 10:52pm-11:51pm EST
nixon gets highly highly repetitive late in the game. there are two phases to watergate. there is the cover-up and then there is the cover-up of the cover-up. that is one nixon has jumped in with both feet. the taping system comes out during the start of the cover-up of the cover-up when alex butterfield testifies and how hague the white house chief of staff has no idea that there was a voice-activated system. he knew nixon had taken a few people, principally made, but he did not know he had a voice-activated system. and hague just can't believe the president of the united states had every word recorded. for this political history as it happens i have probably the most remarkable primary source any
author could ever have. i was able let me kind of wrap up my session on a couple of stories about the tapes. i am able to hear things. i couldn't listen because of the volume to every single conversation. i could immediately tell from my transcribers work if he or she was having any trouble. if it was a difficult conversation. if it was a good one i trusted it and that's something that was particularly important i would tend to look at that just to make sure i heard what they heard. but i often heard things that they could not hear not because of my great hearing but because i knew the players. a wonderful example is an incident that occurs with mark felt too as we later now as deep
throat, bob woodward's principle source. in october of 1972 i had gone over to the criminal division of the department of justice to talk to henry peterson the head of the department. and the person responsible day by day for watergate. he said john i haven't told the attorney general this. i haven't told the acting director of the fbi pat gray because i'm worried they will overreact to this but you should know and the white house should understand that part of the reason this fbi investigation is being handled the way it is is that the number two man in charge of it mark felt is leaving. i said how do you know that? he said well i have known it for a long time. in fact he is known by those of us who know him not to his face but behind his back as the white
rat. i said why is that? he said well he is prematurely gray and he talks all the time in the papers. i wasn't surprised to learn. he told me the person i learned he was leaking from was the general counsel of a major publisher of this kind of information. i have narrowed it down to either "time" magazine with better material he gave to woodward or at the "washington post." the general counsel of one of those is the place henry got this. he had given this person a commitment not to reveal his identity. so that was pretty good information. i took that information back to haldeman not knowing what he would do with it but i realize when i was listening to the tapes that he shared it with
nixon. this was one where stanley cutler had done a partial transcript. so i looked at stanley's transcript and was listening to the tape and there is one point in the conversation where the president is reacting to what haldeman is telling him. he said do you know what i would do it felt bob and cutler hasn't -- expletive following that which is not a surprise but i hear something totally different. nobody has listened to the tapes and i said what was there agrees. he said do you know what i would do with felt bob? ambassadorship. this is exactly what he will do with films the head of the cia. he will appoint him ambassador to move him out on a very friendly term so he is still loyal and what have you.
this never went anywhere. in fact that's one of the things on the tapes and these conversations. where nixon raises some really interesting things that haldeman never shared with anybody else. so the tapes, there is no question today in watergate that i really don't think i know the answer to where the answers and found in those tapes. it was a grinding exercise, one of the most difficult parts of the book. nixon gets compulsively obsessive about the conversations and starts repeating himself. he will make a little spend differently here or he will change it there as he repeats these conversations often with the same person but with somebody else over and over and over again toward the end. i couldn't burden the reader with that but i wanted to give the reader a sense of how this man operated.
so it does opening remarks i'm going to turn it over to my friend rick perlstein whose book i enjoyed. he and i have had the pleasure of doing programs before. it's always reassuring to see really good young historians coming along and getting these stories right because too many of them never do the digging of the kind that rick does and they get a wrong. so with that rick, it's your turn. [applause] thank you. >> thanks john. it's one of the great joys of my life and i'm expected joy to people call john a friend. i would like to say without this guy richard nixon was still the president. [laughter] also i want to say something about the hospitality of the
miami book festival. it's been amazing. someone said they treat us guys like rock stars and i feel like i have been swaddled with all the comforts at home. everything except my morning banana muffin. if i had that the day would be complete. john tells the story of many of the same years i write about here very much from the inside. just a fly on the wall and our books complement each other very nicely because i tell the story of some of those from the outside. if you raised your hand when john asked you if you followed watergate, this book is about you. you guys are the subject of this book and that's the fellows in the house of pennsylvania avenue. basically this is a book about how the american people absorbed and responded to traumas and
it's a word i use advisedly the traumas of the years of 1973 and 1974 and 1975. rather than kind of explained it i will read a little bit from the book to set the table for what it's about and i will very much look forward to the discussion we are having. and like john i would be very glad to have e-mails or if you prefer join my facebook clan rick perlstein. i think i have 800 more spots before they max me out. we have all sorts of lively conversation so without further ado this is the book about how ronald reagan came within a hairs breath of winning the 1976 republican nomination for the presidency but it's also about much more. in the years between 1973 and 1976 america suffered more
wounds than that just about any other time in history. first and january of 1973 when richard nixon declared america's role in the vietnam war after some eight years of fighting were maybe 10 years of fighting or maybe four years of fighting. it depends on how you count it. thanks, brother. .. then almost immediately televised hearings on the complex of presidential abuses known as watergate which revealed the man entrusted with the white house as little better or possibly worse than common criminals. in what one senator called a national funeral that just goes on day after day after day. then in october came the arab
oil embargo, and suddenly americans learned that the commodity that underpin their lifestyle was vulnerable to shortages. and the world's mightiest economy could be held hostage by some mysterious cabal of third world sheikhs. you know, reading about and studying the energy crisis, one of the most striking and shocki t >> reading about it and studying the energy crisis, one of the most striking and chopping things was that people didn't even really think of energy as a thing. they thought of it as something that had the subject of the law of supply and demand. and it's like oh my god you couldn't even imagine worrying about these things before. so there were smaller traumas in between. one of my favorites was the near doubling of prices of me in the spring of 1973. when the president consumer
adviser informed viewers that liver and kidney, brains and hearts can be made into gourmet meals. with seasoning and imagination and more cooking time. and in the next few years thomas continued compounding. and so a recession of hundred of blue-collar workers in recession at christmas time. and this is greater according to one other observers since the 15th century and we have slideshow patty hearst was up there with her machine gun and the seven headed snakes.
the senate and house hearings on the central intelligence agency been accused america's president since white eisenhower of demanding squads. and with these thomas, this is where you guys come in they emerged a new sort of american politics. a stark discourse of reckoning. and so suddenly and so unceasingly. you will read these words from one expert. for the first time americans have had at least a partial law and fundamental believe in ourselves. we always believed that we were the new society and the last best hope on earth. for the first time we have begun to doubt that. and that was only in february of 1973. by 1976 the presidential year
said we have become so routine that when nation geared up for a massive celebration of the bison -- bicentennial, to question whether america deserves to have a birthday party. and whether the party could come off without massive bloodshed, given that there have been 89 bombings attributed to terrorism by the fbi in 1975. the liberals of the new republic reflected upon the occasion of the most harrowing 1975 drama, the military collapse of the allied south vietnam come in the nation on behalf of which we had expended the lens of dollars and save thousands of lives. the bicentennial of the focus of the contract between our idealism in our crimes. so much the better.
and it certainly affected the national mood. an entire class of them dubbed the watergate babies was swept into congress in 1975, pledging a thoroughgoing reform of america's broken institutions. and alone among ambitious politicians, ronald reagan to the different road. and returning to the nation's attention towards the end of the second term as america's governor pundits went forward and then we had richard nixon. and then joe ford reagan was asked about watergate and insisted it said nothing important about america at all. and it had not expended enough violence and that is the greatest immorality is to ask young men to fight or die and
it's not a cause that we are willing to win. one of the quotes came from pope pius xii writing from a magazine in 1945 that united states when the united states is on top of the world area they said that we have done unselfish deeds into the hands of america and god has placed the destiny of in a afflicted mankind and he would afflict that in almost every speech. when ronald reagan began to get attention for talking this way in our season of melancholy we only credited to dismiss him. no one who called the watergate reporters natural criminals at heart, as ronald reagan had in the spring of 1933 could be taken seriously as a political pundit. the central theme of my previous two books chronicling this in american politics has been the
myopia of pundits. so frequently failed to notice the very cultural ground shifting beneath their feet. in fact at every turn and america's apparent decline there were always dissenting voices from the right. they said things like richard nixon just couldn't be a bad guy. and that america just couldn't be surrendering as the god chosen nation. it was impossible. at first, such voices sounded mainly in the interstices of america's political discourse. among right wing institutions we are being largely ignored. conservative churches who spews do more crowded even if experts insisted that religious leave was in radical decline. i found an ap article by the
religion editor accorded a very distinguished professor of religion saying that christians must accept being in a definite minority for the time being. another fab production. those voices were moving from the margin to the center. this is will related to what he was talking about politically but things shifted independently as well. nations hunger to feel good and got in this with hatred of him. the keynote of articles were common and were surprised. surprised it wasn't that hard to celebrate america after all. and this book is how that shift in american political and cultural sentiments began.
ronald reagan had been a sullen kid in an alcoholic home whose mothers passion for saving the phone phone souls could never cipro has been heard by the time of ronald reagan's adolescence, he told his friends to call him dutch and had cultivated an extraordinary gift in the act of rescuing himself. the ability to radiate optimism in the face of what others called chaos. to reimagine this as a tableau and a simple moral clarity. skillfully reframing situations that those who promote critical temperance like the vietnam war if had krista lean back and
white melodramas, which is a key to what made other so good about them, what made them so eager and willing to follow him. what made him a leader. and it was also simultaneously what made him such a controversial leader. others witnessing precisely this call him a phony and a hustler. in this book ronald reagan is not a uniter but a divider and better hopes to understand a political order of battle today. the pattern emerged extraordinarily early. in 1966 when reagan, the tv host and former actor shocked the political universe by winning the nomination for california governor, an aspiring journalist be cannon.
no one was interested in ronald reagan. but they attended tiny colleges in central illinois where reagan taught him there in the years between 1928 in 1932. i just learned that miami-dade has 170,000 students. eureka had about 4300. bitmapped precisely about how they would if they corralled a random sample of clinically attuned citizens today. after membered him as a hero and a figure adept and have judged him as the opposite is a manipulative fraud at. so before you had served a single day a clarity of opinion endured forever more. on one side those who saw him as a hero and a redeemer. on the other, those who saw him as a goat.
he had a handwritten get well note after the assassination attempt and he referred to his first job [inaudible] this was a handwritten note in the oval office. i met you in illinois he remembered the good times that we have in the 20s and you're 17 years old then and everyone called you dutch. please get well soon, we need you to save this country and remember all the lives you saved. it appears in a religious biography of reagan, culminating with his single defeat of the soviet empire which was providential. working out of god's plan. and on the other side those who found him a phony and a fraud. the first time such an opinion of him shows up in the historical record in his high school yearbook he is depicted
as fishing a suicide out of the water bags don't rest me i want to die. and reagan responds he will have to postpone now because i need a metal. the reagan worship and hate lives on. a friend of mine said that i best not send that she could not think straight about him for her rage. her beef was assembled and all that turbulence in the 60s and 70s had given the nation a chance to reflect upon the power to shut arrogance and become a more humble and better citizen of the world and to grow up. and for the citizens what he achieved foreclosed that imperative that americans might learn to question leaders ruthlessly and draw aside the
silly notion that american power was always msn. they had been proposing new definition of patriotism. one built on questioning authority and the unsettling where i think some guys are in the audience today. and then ronald reagan came along trying to think like children in a way to rescue them and that this was a tragedy. the division was pleasant even among his own offspring. his eldest, marine wrote of the time they missed a train of important milestones in her life. and i think the data always regretted times like these were least little bit for the public life that kept him from enjoying
success. he was always there for us emotionally. and at the other pole there was his other daughter, patty who disagreed and patty a liberal wrote to we need to keep our image intact for the world under our families definition of loyalty come and the public should never see it under carefully preserved surface was a group of people who knew how to inflict wounds and then say those wounds never existed and this gets to my favorite ronald reagan story. it is in the patty davis story. and she was suffering horrible depression, one of two children who apparently thought about attempting suicide she was in college. maybe she was in california at
the time, and she wanted to go into therapy. but nancy and ronald bob about was for people who are crazy or whatever it was. that's what she did was she got a hold of a pound of marijuana and she sold it. and that was it for her therapy. while her dad was the governor. in the future and first lady of california, none the wiser. and she wrote that her mother was addicted to pills and as a tool of surveillance, marine describe that as a providential guest the youngest crashing to the floor in the nursery allowing them to save his life. and now we get to the political part. call marines version denial and
liberals and conservatives are always in denial. always seeing things in a negative light and god knows conservatives are always accusing liberals of doing that. optimism, pessimism america the innocent, america the compromise. things have become this way is the structure american political life. as much as the debate led by barry goldwater and the culture war between cultural sophisticates on the one hand on the other labeled in my previous book. reagan's side in this battle. above this which has prevailed.
listening to liz cheney 2009 speaking for the republican multitudes, i believe on equivalent we and unapologetically that america is the best nation that ever existed in history and clearly it exists today. and here's mitt romney accepting the republican nomination in 2012, speaking of the day he watched armstrong land on the moon. like all americans went to bed that night knowing that we live in the greatest country in the world, i think there were some people in 1969 minus gone to bed thinking differently but in those foreign relations committee were not really americans after all. and this is from a couple of years ago from a google search for mitt romney yielded me 114,000 hits. these utterances are meant to be an ideological's approach to democrats always apologizing for america. apologize for america.
and if only fully in castro's address at the democratic national convention in 2012, how is a nation like no other no matter where you come from and who you are the path is always forward. the first lady michele obama spoke of her campaign journeys and everyday they make make me proud, everyday they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth. and her husband, accepting the nomination keeping our eyes fixed on a different wise horizon and we are the greatest nation on earth. now, this is interesting because here is samantha power, the harvard scholar, the scholar of genocide and her confirmation hearing early in 2013 questioning about a magazine
article she published in which she wrote that american foreign policy needed a historical reckoning with crimes committed and sponsored or permeated by the united states and that is the kind of stuff that people really thinking about in the 70s. senator marco rubio, you guys might know his name. republican of florida. he demanded to know what crimes he was referring to. she would respond only that america is the greatest country in the world and we have nothing to apologize for. this is a book about how such rhetoric came into being and how this hubris comes now to the climax. in some ways we live in the darkest times in our history
political polarization threatens to paralyze us and the economy nearly collapses because of the regulatory regime competition from china threatens to overwhelm us and social mobility is at its lowest point in generations. to name only a few versions of the national apocalypse. but at the same time something like an official cult of optimism in the greatest nation in the history of the earth saturates the land. how did it happen? this is one of the questions, the invisible bridge poses. here is another. what does it mean to believe in america? to wave a flag to struggle towards researching alternative for the flagwavers. americans debated this question with an intensity unmatched.
even if they didn't always know that this is what they were doing i hope that this will become a spur to renewing the debate in these years at a time that cries once more in a nation that is ever so adoring with its own innocents and so dearly wishes to see itself as an exception to history. thank you. [applause] >> wow that was great. stick around because we have some great questions. these are great questions. can i ask a question? >> absolutely. >> i have one as well. >> go ahead and start your question. >> i am very curious if rick has discovered from his research if the current polarization of this
country politically begins with richard nixon were -- or ronald reagan or earlier or later? >> i'm going to dated a constitutional convention. [laughter] >> it's one of the ways that we dearly wish to see ourselves as an exception of history, society at peace. we have a tendency of announcing such things ready for the biggest conflicts began and the i write about it in all my books. so quickly, if you think about it. >> i might debate that with you, but i won't today. >> [inaudible] the states of the south in the states of the north this wound up within the national body over slavery and race and it is sufficiently dramatic that when
it finally comes to the floor in the 1860s, hundreds of thousands of americans go for each other. congress was trying to prevent that in the 1850s but they passed a gag rule where you are not allowed to debate slavery on the floor of the house. we don't talk about it, maybe it will go away. and that is a signal american move we should give recognition that today is november 22, the anniversary of john f. kennedy's assassination. one of the things that made that event -- it would've been dramatic in any event, but the idea that america was an exception. the third world, right before that in my first book before the storm, i quote a pundit and i think it was walter lippman saying that america is more
united than at anytime in history. and so it is how we do have these profound divisions and they're not just going to go away with a lofty rhetoric. there is no red america or blue america, maybe we have a better idea of when these commas finally come. and so one of the things when he testified for the urban committee in 1973 with his beautiful wife behind him and the nerdy glasses on his eyes, 75% of americans were tuned in. one of the things so fascinating was fortunate of the white house he depicted. how nixon was how does they were with protesters. one part of that was nixon's
obsession with the fair haired boy, kennedy. so maybe you can tell us about that. >> it's interesting. that little bit of his testimony that certainly wasn't the focus of my testimony when i explained the hemisphere, i later read in the nixon memoirs where he felt that that was the most devastating part of the testimony. he said we could never recover from that. because it happened to be true and it was fairly damning. nixon's preoccupation with the kennedys is the aftermath of the 1960 contest he had had where he had run for the presidency. and they have had a friendly relationship, they had been
arriving at the senate at the same time. there was a certain mutual regard. it wasn't jack kennedy so much as bobby and teddy kennedy that troubled him. he was quite convinced that he was going to see in his reelection bid teddy kennedy stepped forward. he always read about this when they were vying for the nomination as a stalking horse that might as well step aside if kennedy came into play. so he never lets up until almost the bitter end in his fascination and there's really a no holds barred ongoing investigation of teddy kennedy. and i think after chappaquiddick and he realized that the prospects of him running were certainly minimal he did everything he could to collect
information about chappaquiddick which happened before i got to the white house but i was regaled with some of the things they have done as he braces that he will be ready. so anyway we have a question from the audience. >> yes, we have two questions. the first is to mr. rick perlstein. please discuss how much more conservative reagan was compared to nixon. >> every time i do a talk someone asked if he was around now, would he be moderate republican. well, the question is a little sharper i think. i'm interested to know if john agrees. but i think that politicians can only be -- they have to operate according to the contracts given to them and they don't get policies off the shelf. if you go to the nixon library and the exhibit that they set up they will say that he was a great supporter of the environment and he signed this
fact the hearts and flowers and clean water and air act. it turned out that that was 410 to five. so doesn't show what he really believes. the question is how conservative was he really. i think the best piece of evidence for that is budget the budget he had prepared in 1974 which seems a very big deal at the time. "newsweek" called it the most important political document since the new deal and it was a reagan budget. talk about all of the things that he eliminated. and he also talked about the agency said administered the war on poverty and that was to dismantle the agency that they
had hired to run. and in fact in his memoir he said after my reelection, which he won i made haste to continue my mandate to build this new majority, which is the majority of what became democrats and catholics and southerners and all the rest. so i think he wanted to be reagan. >> i think basically i do agree. in some regards i think he was more conservative than reagan. >> he certainly didn't have the heart for racial equality. >> no, not at all. and things like epa, you can hear where he would talk to someone would be active in some of these more moderate is not progressive domestic policies where he had no interest in them and he would say just don't get me in trouble politically.
>> using clinically untrained incredible. it was in regards to the philadelphia plan. because he could get democratic unions and democratic african-americans he could rip apart the democratic party. >> was this me merely and expedition? >> there is an appendix in the book, where every -- every time i found something in the case
were there is knowledge of where the break-in occurred, i put a footnote for the appendix and i collected them all in the appendix, which really doesn't explain all that i know. but it explains everything that they knew. and it's pretty clear that they understood it was an expedition to get financial information on larry o'brien. if you go beyond what i have done to the sworn testimony from the cuban-americans who were the burglars from howard hunt who gave them the orders and they were on a fishing expedition and becomes quite clear. because it was so bundled a lot of people think that there must've been something going on. the conspiracy theories have developed over the fact that there are holes and unexplained
factors and the facts just don't really exist. the bungling was human error. >> mr. rick perlstein, this one i think is great for you. how did reagan give voice to sentiments that were too extreme to be taken seriously? demonizing the poor? demonizing the social programs done by fdr and continued through the great society. >> it's an excellent question. that is very central as to why he would succeed where someone like barry goldwater wouldn't. i went to the hoover institute in california and listen to all of the radio broadcast that he
would make these three minute radio broadcast everyday. and so one of the things that he is so good at is a liturgy of absolution. he tells people who are getting too much money that black folks, who are at the federal trough, he was the first person to describe black voters as living on this since 1968. people who are concerned about crime. people who are concerned about unit powers. and he is so good at metaphorically looking at them in the eye or looking at them in the eye literally insane but you're not a bad person. and his -- you have to see how he does it in the book was to
say i understand what this was all about, these are all good people. and they just don't understand that they are going to achieve this and there was a survey of black people in washington dc and they want to know more and etc. and etc. so they will tell you that you are a racist, they are going to say that law and order is a coword for racism. and he was so good at that and
he was seen as critically part of this. >> a two-part question we will end up in a couple of minutes. first of all, what are your thoughts about the campaign's intelligence gatherings occur in today's campaigns and the money spent. also i would like to talk about watergate had not happened, what do you think you would be doing today? so let's start with part one and we can go to part two. >> the first part was about campaign intelligence gathering that occurred and all of the money that is spent on that. >> doesn't even seem comparable today. >> it is not the rough-and-tumble that has not surfaced especially in the white house anyway. where they are planning the secretaries and the wiretapping
and trying to deliver a manipulative campaign where you will get the campaign you want to run against rather than the one that might surface out of the primary system. and that is probably one of the lessons of watergate and the aftermath of watergate, the people want the system to work fairly and not unfairly. so i don't see it -- i've never seen anything quite comparable to watergate in this sense. as far as the other question what would i be doing without watergate, i would still be married and that is the best part of it. and i had never planned to make a career out of government. in fact i have tried to resign from the white house in september of 71 which was long before watergate. i had a couple of attractive job offers that related to my having good terms with the
administration and this includes the one that would later become reagan's counsel and bushes counsel and i said that fred is capable of handling his job. so these opportunities are something that i would like to pursue. and he said to me that you can't leave, you owe it to us to stay. and if you leave, you will be a persona non grata and basically be blowing away the jobs. years later i suspect he wished that he would let me go. but i stayed. so i have actually pretty much done what i set out to do and had a lot of fun. at return to writing after a successful career in business. i went back to school and
studied accounting a is a cpa. and i needed the skills and the knowledge in a couple of partners. and i was blessed by both i have great as this partners and i return to something that i always wanted to do and i am now on my eighth book in retirement. so i've done pretty much what i want. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you mr. dean. on behalf of this wonderful audience, thank you so much for a great conversation. >> we sat down with booktv at the miami book fair went rick perlstein him with his latest book, "the nixon defense: what
he knew and when he knew it." >> thank you for joining us sir your new book is "the nixon defense: what he knew and when he knew it." >> please call me john. anyway july of 1970 when i was 31 years of age i became the white house counsel and i had it been a part of the nixon entourage, i had been in washington. i worked as the chief minority counsel of the house judiciary committee and i have gone on from there and i have been an associate deputy attorney general where i joined. i had a lot of dealings with the white house staff and so when john became assistant to the president for domestic affairs the president invited me to come
over and serve on the white house counsel. >> how often did you meet with the president? >> very seldom. but that is the best decision i ever had of my job alex butterfield who worked with the chief of staff really had a good overview of the management of the white house and he handled a lot of administrative functions. he said the chief of staff. john ehrlichman never gave up the job actually. and nixon continued to turn to him for an awful lot of things related to the counsel's office. and then of course when the president started calling on me i had that third. >> how often would you meet with bob? >> regularly. he was a good administrator. a good chief of staff.
he was easy to work with and a lot of people found him tough to work with. but there were other professionals on the staff. >> in 1972 what was that like in the white house? >> that was the month that things occurred with watergate. i happen to be in the know in the philippines giving a speech at the time that the break in occurs and the rest occurred. the first mistake might've been coming home, but i did. i called my deputy who later would become part of the white house counsel. and it was a very quick trip and he said no i think you better come back, they are looking for you, there's been a break in at the democratic national
committee. and then we will give instructions to get involved in get going with what happens he was a special counsel to the president and known as something of a hatchet man just because of his dirty dealings. but he was not uninvolved, but he was not directly involved. so i did have this and it took me nanoseconds to put this together once i found out a few more facts won't have gone on at the reelection committee. kennedy:
>> john dean, your book is called the "the nixon defense: what he knew and when he knew it." >> yes, peter, i had to go through and transcribe all of the conversations and i pulled all of the conversations out i catalogued them. and then i had a team of transcribers helping so i could follow day-to-day what nixon knew and when he knew it and what he did about it. and i learned things that were new. the biggest surprise is that he initially didn't want to know anything, but then when he asked about it with his top advisers, they don't give him all the answers because they have their own jeopardy of the situation. and they are working in the
white house, the white house would've cut the selection committee and they couldn't do that because they had two of the cuban-americans that were in jail as a result of the watergate break-in. >> we are in the city of miami right now. >> yes the cuban-americans and he was inaugurated operative in the bay of pigs, some of his men were here in the cuban community and he ever cured of them in the white house and then when he went over it and join him in the election committee after the
arrests, the lady assured everyone that these people would never talk about but they didn't. and that includes multiple problems and so that includes staying in the watergate hotel for $6.39. which one of the cuban-americans come he wanted to mail from miami to pay his out-of-state duties. and the other money, you know, one of the things that i never knew about in details is that nixon, he's down here at the time of the break-in as well.
and when he gets back on the 20th at night, he comes up with a plan around the cuban-americans he said let's go this way what we are going to do is setup a cuban defense fund because these guys need attorneys fees, fines, who knows what they will need it for this is to create a cuban defense fund. he wasn't going to do it secretly, he was going to do it openly and played against his opponent, who the cuban community do not want to become president, he was going to play politically. had he done that, that would not have been a obstruction of justice. i have wonderful conversations that he is talking with henry peterson, the head of the criminal division about this plan. and peterson agrees that it's not obstruction of justice.
but this individual with whom he discusses it never tells anybody and there's another conversation with me, i don't get in at until eight months later, i don't know what he is talking about. but it was kind of an ingenious plan. >> june 23 1972. that is the day they became famous or infamous. >> that is the data was famous, however anyone looks at it. the smoking gun tapes. that's interesting. they are really firing blanks. i say that because what happened in so much time had passed that nixon couldn't figure out what it was about and you had no one asking him at this point and they take this at face value and weed them out of context.
and on march 21, 1973, here we are now back on june 23 on june june 2372 he is trying to get the fbi to kill the investigation and that is not what he's talking about but talking about having the fbi stay out of something they have no business investigating, which his campaign financing. this includes the impeachment committee will finally say hey this is beyond what we are willing to defend