Nixon by Nixon: In His Own Words (2014) Movie Script

I don't come
from a political family.
I didn't think about
the possibility
of being President
of the United States.
My mother didn't take me
into her arms and tell me
"Some day
you'll be president."
My mother was a Quaker
and she was a very devout
As... as a good Quaker
should be.
My mother was quite
well educated for those times.
My father only went through
the sixth grade.
And he worked
in every kind of a job.
As a matter of fact,
he built the house that I was born in.
my father had
a small store
and my brothers and I
had worked in it.
We worked before
and after school
in order to help work
our way through school.
My mother was one
who had no enemies.
My father was argumentative;
he was combative;
he was competitive.
From him I got that arguing ability,
but from my mother,
more the dedication
to scholarship
at an early start.
And if it had not been for my mother,
it would have been very difficult.
My mother recalls
that I played by ear,
which I did, before I ever
took any lessons.
And I became
quite advanced.
But I think it really
came down to a choice:
would I concentrate on music
or should I move to debating
and other areas?
And I finally moved
in the other direction.
Sometimes I...
I rather regret it.
Testing testing testing testing testing.
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This is an audio test. Testing
one two three four five.
Nixon: I remember the headlines:
"Nixon Bugged Himself."
Taping was done
for the purpose
of having it
for the historical record.
It was voice activated.
Everything was taped,
which of course
was probably stupid.
There has been a new release
of White House audio tapes
and documents
just out tonight
from the Nixon Library
in California.
Say what you will about him,
Richard Nixon
is one of the most fascinating
figures in American history.
Just when we think we know everything
there is to know about him,
we find out something else.
The recordings Richard Nixon
intended for his own use
continue to tell history
his uncensored story.
The problem is
that historians
are going to grab
an hour of tape...
when these tapes come out...
and if you listen to
a snippet of tape,
you're going to form an impression of
this man that's going to be wrong.
So sometime, hopefully,
there will be a historian
or a committee of historians
who will listen to all the tapes
and go into all the archives,
and then come out and say
"Richard Nixon was
the strangest collection,
the strangest paradoxical
of any man I ever heard of."
And they'll be right.
John Chancellor:
Mr. Nixon has always been a solitary figure,
protected by only a few
trusted associates.
We were obsessed with secrecy.
I was almost a basket case
with regard to secrecy.
We have to recognize
that this was wartime.
We were trying to prevent
a Communist takeover
of South Vietnam.
I wasn't thinking that much about
the tape system that we had.
My main concern was ending that war.
Harry Reasoner:
The Nixon Administration said today
that it has no intention
of permitting
a Communist military victory
in South Vietnam,
that the intensified American
bombing of North Vietnam
is an expression
of that determination.
Mr. Haldeman, sir.
David Brinkley:
It is said the new bombing of North Vietnam
is only temporary,
and the policy still is
gradually to end the war.
Nobody says when,
and nobody gives any persuasive reasons
why it didn't end
long ago.
It is hard to remember the time
when the American people
tended to believe
what their government said.
I can assure you tonight
with confidence
that American involvement
in this war
is coming to an end.
The day the South Vietnamese
can take over their own defense
is in sight.
Impeach Nixon now!
We're veterans of Vietnam
and we're telling the American
people that the war is wrong.
I want to ask you:
who are you going to believe,
the veterans of Vietnam
or Tricky Dick?
Operator: Mr. President,
Dr. Kissinger, sir.
John Kerry:
Each day to facilitate the process by which
the United States washes
her hands of Vietnam
someone has to die so that
President Nixon won't be...
and these are his words...
"the first president to lose a war."
Colson: This fellow Kerry...
Nixon: Yeah.
Hell, he turns out to be
really quite a phony.
Nixon: Well,
he is sort of a phony, isn't he?
I realize in this room
there are many reporters
who disagree with my policy
to bring the war to an end in the way
that I believe it should be ended,
and who probably agree with the
views of the demonstrators.
I was insisting on
and worked for peace with honor.
And they wanted peace
at any price.
Impeach Nixon now,
impeach Nixon now!
Ted Kennedy:
Richard Nixon was elected to end a war.
Impeach Nixon now!
This bloodbath
started long ago
and we are a part of it.
And it will continue daily
as long as the war
Nixon: Despite the fact that
many members of Congress
were making great noises
against the war,
and despite the fact that the media
was overwhelmingly against the war,
that was not the voice
of America.
The voice of America was
the Silent Majority.
Frank McGee: Tricia Nixon and Edward
Cox will be married tomorrow.
Nixon: The women of my life
have all been remarkable.
I have always
sort of prided myself
on self-control.
And I am emotional,
but I don't believe
you should share emotions.
I am a great believer
in privacy.
Nixon: Hello.
Operator: Secretary Rogers.
Nixon: Hi, Bill.
Rogers: Hey, that wedding was just great.
Nixon: It was the...
you've got to give Pat and Tricia the credit.
They really worked. And that White
House staff, weren't they great?
It was absolutely superb.
Operator: General Haig, sir.
Nixon: Hello?
Haig: Yes sir.
Nothing else of interest in the world today?
Haig: Yes sir.
This goddamn "New York Times"...
expose of the most highly-classified
documents of the war.
This is a devastating
security breach
of the greatest magnitude.
I was very surprised and shocked,
and of course Henry Kissinger
was just as surprised.
Operator: Mr. President,
I have Dr. Kissinger calling you.
Thousands of pages of documents
secret documents
from the Pentagon
were published
in "The New York Times,"
the so-called
Pentagon Papers.
As a result of their
I know that it
encouraged the enemy.
Walter Cronkite: Publication
of parts of the 47-volumed,
top secret history of American
involvement in Vietnam
has triggered a major
Constitutional legal battle
over government secrecy
and freedom of the press.
The Justice Department went
to court in New York today
and got a temporary order
restraining "The Times"
from publishing the next
and last two installments.
In all probability,
it will go all the way
to the Supreme Court
by midweek or sooner.
We've got some information we've developed
as to where these copies are
and who they're likely
to have leaked them.
And the prime suspect
is a gentleman
by the name of Ellsberg.
Nixon: Yeah.
Mitchell: Who's a left-winger
that's now at the RAND Corporation.
I felt that as
an American citizen,
as a responsible citizen,
I could no longer
cooperate in concealing
this information
from the American public.
The Supreme Court said no to the
government and yes to the newspapers,
voting six to three to let
"The New York Times"
and "The Washington Post"
print the rest
of the Pentagon Papers.
We've got to go gung-ho now on this Ellsberg.
You make a martyr out of him,
we're going to give an incentive
to every little son of a bitch
in this government
to run out of the place
and rat on us.
Hoover, sir.
Nixon: Domestically,
the most important achievement
without question were the
appointments to the Supreme Court.
We left a lot of blood
on the floor,
but we changed history
in the United States.
Man: Sir,
can you tell us when you may make
a nomination or nominations
for the Supreme Court?
I will make the nominations
next week.
Both. Both.
Woman: Mr. President sir, are you going
to have a woman on there, aren't you?
I certainly don't
rule out a woman.
at least two women
are under consideration
at this time.
In preparation for naming two
Supreme Court nominees next week,
President Nixon has asked
the American Bar Association
to investigate
six potential choices.
And the Bar has been asked
to concentrate first
on Judge Mildred Lillie of the
California Court of Appeals.
Nixon: Hello?
Operator: The Attorney General, sir.
Nixon: Yeah, good good.
Lawrence: Judge Lillie, who would be the
first woman on the nation's highest court,
originally was appointed
to the California bench
by then-governor Earl Warren,
later Chief Justice.
Nixon: Oh,
you said you've talked to Chief Justice.
He's not anxious to have a woman up there.
Nixon: I understand that.
No more anxious than I am.
I don't want them to zero in
too much on Lillie.
See, I always handle
the woman with a smile,
nobody thinks I'm going to do a woman.
Until this story.
Tom Jarriel: One dependable White
House source strongly indicates
the president will produce
a surprise candidate.
One not cleared by the ABA
or mentioned in speculation.
I still think that the Rehnquist thing
is a damn good
what is Rehnquist?
I suppose he's
a damn Protestant?
Mitchell: I'm sure of that.
Nixon: That's too bad.
He's about as WASPish as WASPish can be.
Well, that's too damn bad.
Tell him to change
his religion.
All right. I'll get him
baptized this afternoon.
A special investigating
committee of the Bar Association
decided last night
that neither Friday
nor Mrs. Lillie
was qualified.
Nixon: What did they just say?
"Not qualified?"
Mitchell: Yup.
Nixon: Great.
Mitchell: And you know what they said?
That she was probably as good
as any woman
that could be considered by the Court.
Yup yup yup.
The statement was made up there.
She's the best-qualified woman,
but she's not qualified
for the Supreme Court.
Jesus, that's great.
That's great.
Have you told Rehnquist yet?
Mitchell: Uh, not yet,
but I'm sure that
he will be more than pleased.
Nixon: Pleased?
Christ, he will probably drop his teeth.
I would expect so.
Nixon: Yeah.
I don't want to see him.
I think it's not...
I don't think I should.
There's no necessity for it.
And I haven't seen Powell.
I wouldn't know him
if I saw him.
Lewis Powell,
William Rehnquist...
those are names
you will remember,
because they will add
distinction and excellence
in the highest degree to the
Supreme Court of the United States.
Jarriel: By design or not,
the president has emerged
from the controversy
as having tried but failed
to place a woman
on the high court.
The ABA's rejection played
conveniently into his hands
in escaping the much anticipated
historic appointment.
Let me say that
at least we have
made a beginning.
And there will be a woman
on the Supreme Court
in time.
Daddy, do you want to go
out to dinner tonight?
Trader Vic's or something?
Nixon: Well, I'll tell you,
if Mommy would like to go,
I think it'd be a nice idea.
Julie: Okay. So you explore it with her.
And is Trish around?
Julie: Yeah, and I think she'd like to go.
All right, honey.
Okay, Daddy.
Swell. And everything's fine?
Okay. Fine.
Julie: Everything's great. Okay, bye.
Nixon: Yeah, bye.
Jarriel: The traditional high ladies'
job in government
today was filled
in a conventional way.
The president nominated
Mrs. Romana Banuelos
to the post of Treasurer
of the United States.
James Kilpatrick: The Romana Food
Company in Gardena, California,
is owned
by Mrs. Romana Banuelos,
President Nixon's nominee to be
Treasurer of the United States.
federal immigration agents raided the company
for the sixth time,
seeking illegal aliens working in the plant.
All I can say is
that this company
has consistently...
been found to employ
illegal aliens.
At least six times.
Nixon: John?
I want you to direct
the most trusted person you
have in the immigration service
that they are to look over
all of the activities
of the "Los Angeles Times."
All, underlined.
We're going after everyone
individually, collectively...
their income tax.
They're starting this week.
Every one of those
sons of bitches.
And they are to send
their teams in
to see whether they are
violating the wetback thing.
Now let me explain,
because as a Californian I know.
in California hires them.
Do it. Give me a report.
Mitchell: Very well, sir.
Nixon: John,
there's got to be discipline.
Hello? The Secretary of the
Treasury was just in my office
and told me the good news that you
were confirmed and unanimously.
Banuelos: Oh, Mr. President,
thank you very much for calling me.
Nixon: I suppose everyone
would like to be remembered
particularly for his major
We are here today
for the purpose of signing
the Cancer Act of 1971.
Nixon: If the cancer initiative,
which we began,
could save lives, that would be
worth all the rest put together.
One subject that Henry brought up
was that Reston
was in to see him.
Haldeman: You're kidding!
Nixon: Yeah.
And I want the goddamn staff
to understand,
and he must not have
understood this,
that the blackout
on the "Times" is total.
Haldeman: Well, he understood it.
He stood in your office
when we talked about this and you made the
point to him that he was not to see Reston,
that you would not see Reston.
Nixon: That's right, that's right.
I want you to tell Henry
he should not talk to Reston.
Nixon: I invite the press in
because I feel very honored
to make this presentation. Reasoner:
The president's relations with the press
are more restricted
and controlled in his behalf
than those of any other
modern-day president.
If you already have one,
that makes two.
We just give you little
trinkets for coming in.
Operator: Mr. Colson, sir.
Daniel Schorr is a correspondent for CBS News
in Washington, who is,
like many reporters,
occasionally at odds
with the White House.
It was disclosed today
that the White House ordered
an FBI investigation
of Schorr just after
he had written a story
unflattering to the president.
To a great many citizens
of this country
it is no longer an honorable
thing to be a news broadcaster.
The administration has
set the country against us,
apparently by some design.
Because if you can
discredit the press
then it doesn't matter
much more what they say.
Mr. President, as you
enter this election year,
public-opinion polls indicated
that the American people...
about 50%...
said that you lacked
personal warmth
and compassion.
Why do you suppose
that is?
Without trying to psychoanalyze myself,
because that's your job,
I would simply answer
the question by saying that...
my strong point
is not rhetoric,
it isn't showmanship,
it isn't big promises.
My strong point,
if I have a strong point, is performance.
Nixon: Rather is just a son of a bitch,
don't you think?
He's going to always be a son of a bitch.
He's just a bastard period.
Nixon: Be sure Rather gets a few
nasty notes on his reporting.
I don't know
whether it helps or not.
Colson: Yeah,
he's very sensitive to that.
Nixon: Well, have you...
have you arranged that?
Colson: Yes, sir. And...
Nixon: I'd hit him hard.
I have a temper.
I control it publicly
rather well.
He's a very complicated man.
His confidence results from an
intellectual analysis of himself
in relation to all
the factors of his life.
This explains his ability
to make quick accommodations
and dramatic changes in his policies,
which is good.
But it also explains
the sometime periods
of brooding retreat
and dissociation,
when the image of self
apparently becomes
an image of a strong man
beleaguered by fools.
Most of our media "friends"
just can't resist
because they think
I'm a very complex
and therefore
interesting person.
Vital to the President's
hopes for re-election
are the events
now taking place in Vietnam.
General Haig, sir.
Nixon: Yeah.
Haig: Yes sir.
Nixon: Al, I wanted to ask you,
how about that...
B-3 strike?
Is it going to get off?
Or did we hear yet?
Or what?
Haig: Yes sir.
As of now, it's on schedule
and the weather is favorable. And that
would be the only thing that would...
Nixon: Stop it. Right.
Haig:...cause it to be postponed.
Nixon: And that would be starting
tonight then, or today? Yes sir.
6:00 our time.
We have as
our special guests tonight
the very famous choral group,
the Ray Conniff singers.
And if the music is square,
it's because I like it square.
President Nixon,
stop bombing human beings,
animals and vegetation.
You go to church on Sundays
and pray to Jesus Christ.
If Jesus Christ
were here tonight,
you would not dare
drop another bomb.
Bless the Berrigans,
and bless Daniel Ellsberg.
Two three four.
Doo-doo-doo doo
He's making
eyes at me...
Nixon: Wasn't that the
goddamnedest thing you ever saw?
Without secrecy,
we would not have had
the opening to China.
Sam Donaldson: It was gloomy and cold,
with snow threatening.
But an arctic blizzard couldnt have dampened
President Nixons high spirits on this morning.
And, shunning a topcoat,
he said goodbye
to the notables who had come
to see him off to China.
Nixon: China was an unknown land.
I'd read about it all my life.
It was a land of mystery,
and the fact that we
hadn't had communication
with them for 25 years
built up that mystery.
My problem is that
I don't want to be
too close
to that many newsmen.
I've seen Jarriel.
I didn't see you.
Good morning.
Man: Are you working without a hat?
Jarriel work for you,
work for him?
Uh, we are all equal
workers in America.
ABC, American
Broadcasting Company...
...Mr. Reasoner
and Mr. Jarriel.
NBC, Mr. Kaplow,
National Broadcasting.
CBS, they only have a cameraman.
Howard K Smith:
A year ago the possibility
that we'd ever see
anything like this picture
seemed more remote
than Neil Armstrong's
first footstep on the moon.
Mr. Nixon deserves credit
for a masterstroke
that is both opportune
and statesmanlike.
We knew that we were at a watershed event
in human history.
If it had not been undertaken
and if China had been forced
back under the Soviet umbrella,
the geopolitical relationship
and balance in the world
would be almost hopelessly
against us at this time.
Rather: The question of what
city gets the gift panda bears
from mainland China
has been settled.
President and Mrs. Nixon
decided today
they should be displayed
in the Washington Zoo.
Nixon: Just checking to see
how the panda thing went.
I've been in a meeting
and so I wasn't able to check.
Oh, they were just darling.
Nixon: Yeah, did they...
Everybody raved about 'em.
How did it... how did it work?
Were you able to get up to them?
Do you pet them
or anything like that?
Or they don't allow that or how does it work?
Pat: No, they're glass-caged.
Yeah, mm-hmm.
But did they get a good
picture of it, I hope?
Pat: Boy, it was well-covered.
Good good.
Nixon: She was called "Plastic Pat"
because she was my wife.
The people that give
that kind of image
are basically
the women reporters.
You know, we talk about
men reporters,
but the women reporters are
more bitchy than the men.
You're very hard on female reporters,
Mr. President.
Oh, I'm hard on all reporters,
but only in a friendly way.
I would like to broaden
the subject, Mr. President.
There are the problems
of drugs,
of disaffection with the war,
of a general alienation.
What do you see as
the greatest problem
facing the American family
Well, you've put your finger,
of course, on two problems.
But I think they
tend to be more
symptoms than causes.
I think the fundamental cause
must be a sense of insecurity.
A sense of insecurity
that comes
from the old values
being torn away.
The United States is assembling
one of the largest
naval strike forces in the history
of the war off the Vietnamese coast.
Marvin Kalb:
Officials say the president will not
withdraw American air power
until he gets a deal he likes.
Mr. Mitchell, sir.
Within the past week there have been reports
of eyewitnesses claiming
to have seen American planes
hit dikes and dams.
And the question is
has such bombing occurred?
Mr. Rather, we have had
orders out not to hit dikes
because the result
in terms of civilian casualties
would be extraordinary.
American jets and destroyers got
the green light today and
struck back with a vengeance
against targets
in North Vietnam.
The principal enemy
the past few days
has been the weather.
It is miserable.
Mr. Kissinger.
Nixon: I wondered if you'd had
any report on the weather.
Goddamn bastards can't go.
If we ever get these goddamned
Air Force guys to fly. Yeah.
We know that thousands of soldiers
of North and South Vietnam,
and tens of thousands
of innocent men and women,
and children will die
in Indochina in 1972
for the simple reason
that President Nixon
will not allow
the Saigon government
to falter until
he is secure at home
for another term
of office.
Nixon: Teddy is a typical
Irish extrovert politician,
but Jack was more
withdrawn and more private.
The thing I remember about
Kennedy more than anything else
was when we debated.
I sensed that
he was very shy,
frankly as I was.
Don Hewi Let me see the tight
shot on camera one, please.
Let me see
one wider than that.
I think I'd better shave.
I resisted the attempt of my own advisers
to have
the lighting tests,
the makeup tests and so forth that
they wanted before the debate.
That was a mistake.
It's the picture that counts,
far more than
what the candidate says,
when television
is concerned.
If the present trend
if Mr. Kennedy...
Senator Kennedy will be
the next President
of the United States.
It's the Kennedy mystique.
It's still there.
It's going to last
as long as one of them
is living.
President Nixon's Air Force One touched down
at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport
and rolled up
to the isolated
VIP reception building
at a remote side
of the field.
Kalb: The President in his toast
indirectly chided the Russians
for helping North Vietnam.
But his major point,
it seemed, was that
great powers have
great responsibility.
With great power
goes great responsibility.
Nixon: I thought it was vitally
important in my presidency
to make some move
toward negotiation,
rather than a confrontation,
with the Russians.
I would hope that
a hundred years from now
that the world would
be a safer place.
We were negotiating
an arms-control agreement,
we were trying to end
the war in Vietnam
and I decided,
"Well, this is one time
I'm not going to get
involved in the campaign.
I'm going to delegate it all."
That was a mistake.
There's no excuse
for what happened.
Five men were arrested early Saturday
while trying to install
eavesdropping equipment
at the Democratic
National Committee.
And it turns out that
one of them has an office
in the headquarters
of the Committee
for the Re-election
of the President.
A White House consultant
was implicated today
in that apparent attempt
to bug, or burglarize,
or do something to the offices of
the Democratic National Committee.
The aide
is Howard E. Hunt.
Just before 3:00 this morning in Miami Beach,
the democrats' nominee
was George McGovern...
the unconventional Senator
from South Dakota.
Never underestimate
the power of Richard Nixon
to bring harmony
to democratic ranks.
Four years ago,
I proudly accepted your nomination
for President of the United States.
Tonight, I again
proudly accept
your nomination for President
of the United States.
A federal grand jury has returned
the first indictments
in the Watergate bugging case.
We shall under no circumstances
abandon our POWs
and our MIAs,
wherever they are.
The White House said today
"peace is at hand"
in Vietnam.
We believe that peace
is at hand.
The President said today
that he will not allow
the American election
to influence his policy
of bombing North Vietnam.
The Nixon campaign rolled through
the wealthy northern suburbs
of New York City.
Nixon: It all gets down to...
it gets down to character...
the national character.
McGovern is for softening
the character
and I'm for toughening it up.
The sun was just up when the Nixon's arrived
at their polling place, the Concordia
Elementary School in San Clemente.
Three hours later
the White House entourage
boarded their plane for the
flight back to Washington.
Smith: President Nixon appears
to have won re-election
by the largest absolute majority
ever in American history.
We can see the dimensions
of Mr. Nixon's
landslide tonight.
President Nixon with 63%...
it's a stunning
I simply want to say
from the bottom of my heart,
thanks for making
our last campaign
the very best one of all.
Thank you.
Four more years,
four more years!
Kissinger: Mr. President?
Nixon: Well, Henry, how are you?
I just wanted to extend my really
warmest congratulations.
Nixon: Well...
Kissinger: This is...
We all knew it was going to happen and...
But we... we got...
we got our 60%.
Kissinger: Well,
you came up against their issue
and turned it into an asset.
That's right.
Kissinger: You made Vietnam your issue.
That's right.
Kissinger: It's a tremendous triumph.
Yeah yeah.
Nixon: Henry Kissinger,
when he said
"peace is at hand"
before the election,
the North Vietnamese
said, "Well,
now they have
to have peace."
And so they got
more intransigent
as a result.
Nixon: Right.
Smith: The White House today
strongly denied speculation
that President Nixon
and Henry Kissinger disagree
on Vietnam negotiating policy.
White House spokesmen
Ron Ziegler
said such reports
are totally untrue.
"Time" Magazine said
the administration ordered
the FBI to tap the phones
of both reporters
and White House
staff members
in an attempt to prevent
news leaks.
Mr. President, I...
after we started keeping
the log on Henry's calls...
What'd you find out?
Was Joe Kraft on the list?
Colson: Oh, yes.
Nixon: So he called up
Joe Kraft on Tuesday?
Colson: Yep.
It's an outgoing call, he called Kraft.
Nixon: And Joe Kraft then
writes an article yesterday
that just knocks
the bejesus of it.
I'll be goddamned.
He called Kraft.
I'll be a son of a bitch.
Colson: Now they're going to keep
the log on people and phones
so we'll... Right.
And incidentally I want...
I want it on
his private phone too.
We can get that, can't we?
I think we can.
Nixon: Sure, God damn it.
We get it through the FBI.
Oh yes, sorry, yeah.
Reporters for "The Washington Post"
were not invited to cover
three White House Parties
given this weekend.
Press secretary
Ronald Ziegler
denies that there is
any vendetta against the paper.
Nixon: The most difficult military
decision of my whole presidency
was the so-called
Christmas bombing of 1972.
I decided it was time
to get it over with.
President Nixon today took off the kid gloves
and once again flexed
America's air muscle.
I was convinced that it would break
the deadlock
in the negotiations.
Henry Kissinger agreed that
that was the case.
Kissinger: Mr. President.
I just wanted to tell you
that the third wave
of B-52s got out
and no... no planes
shot down.
Good. So...
did they hit anything?
Kissinger: Well, Radio Hanoi has
been off the air for 10 hours.
All right, good.
And that is bound to create havoc up there.
The administration contends
that the raids are not
terror bombing.
The shift to the larger B-52s
would seem to indicate
that the raids have been
designed for psychological
as well as military gain.
Mr. Colson, sir.
Garrick Utley: Tomorrow, Richard Nixon
will drive up Pennsylvania Avenue
to the Capitol.
He will place one hand on a Bible,
raise the other and be sworn in again
as President of the United States.
A very powerful
...I, Richard Nixon,
do solemnly swear...
An inauguration is a celebration
of our whole process as much as it is
a celebration for a partisan victor.
In some men self-confidence
and an ease with life
seem to come with the suit. In others of us,
it is a more fragile, conscious thing.
And Mr. Nixon is very much
of this group.
So we wish this intelligent
and complex president
the very best,
for all our sakes.
Nixon: Hello?
Pat: Hi, Dick.
Nixon: Oh, I thought you'd like to know,
and tell the girls,
that we...
Kissinger's on his way back
and we got the agreement.
Oh, great!
Nixon: So, you tell them.
Isn't that marvelous!
Nixon: Okay?
It's wonderful.
Nixon: Okay. Bye.
Yeah, good. Thanks.
Utley: Dr. Kissinger arrived
at Andrews Air Force Base
outside Washington
in the early evening.
He was carrying with him a ceasefire
agreement initialed in Paris.
Now do you think we should have a picture
with you and Henry tonight
when he arrives back?
Ziegler: Okay.
Nixon: I don't think so.
I think we don't want
to build the Henry thing up
all that much.
I don't think we should
have a picture. No.
We, today, have concluded
an agreement
to end the war
and bring peace with honor
in Vietnam
and in Southeast Asia.
Nixon: That had to be not
only the greatest experience
as president, but also I think,
of all my public life.
...January 23, 1973.
The agreement
on ending the war...
We finally have achieved
a peace with honor.
I know it gags some of you
to write that phrase,
but that is true.
I think there's some guys over there
doing a little
gagging this morning.
Nixon: Oh yeah,
I said that was going to gag you
to write
"with peace with honor."
Yeah, I was stunned there was
no Watergate thing
even mentioned, you know?
Nixon: What the hell?
Why do people want to write about subject B?
Buchanan: Right right.
They want to write about subject A.
The president said that
no one presently employed
in the government was connected
with the Watergate bugging case.
That would certainly
include you.
I don't know anything about
the Watergate incident.
President Nixon and his
counsel John Dean
now appear to be at odds
over the Watergate scandal.
Miss Julie's calling.
Nixon: Really?
There is evidence that
the president's Chief of Staff
HR Haldeman was involved, along with
John Ehrlichman of the White House.
There really wasn't a happy time
in the White House
after April 30th
when Haldeman
and Ehrlichman left.
The resignations came from men
so closely associated
with Mr. Nixon,
they hit almost with the
impact of a resignation
from the chief executive
in one of the most difficult
decisions of my presidency,
I accepted
the resignations of two
of my closest associates
in the White House.
Bob Haldeman,
John Ehrlichman...
two of the finest
public servants
it has been
my privilege to know.
Nixon: Well, it's a tough thing,
Bob, for you and for John
and the rest, but God damn it,
I'm never going to discuss
this son-of-a-bitching Watergate thing again.
Never never never never.
But let me say,
you're a strong man,
God damn it, and I love ya.
Nixon: And I... you know,
I love John.
God bless you, boy.
Haldeman: Okay. God bless you.
I love you, as you know.
Haldeman: Okay.
You're like my brother.
Ziegler: The president has asked
me to announce that he has
today requested and accepted
the resignation of John Dean
from his position
of the White House counsel.
Chancellor: FBI agents were sent
into the White House today,
normally the preserve
of the Secret Service,
to stand guard over the papers
of HR Haldeman,
John Ehrlichman
and John Dean.
No one can remember the FBI
being used that way before.
The Pulitzer Prize committee today awarded
its distinguished Public Service Prize
to "The Washington Post"
for its coverage of the Watergate scandal.
"Post" reporters
Carl Bernstein
and Robert Woodward were also
singled out in the citation
for their dominant role
in the inquiry.
Judge:...nothing but the truth,
so help you God?
I do, so help me God.
Roger Mudd: John Dean,
the ex-White House Counsel, testified today
that President Nixon knew
about the Watergate cover-up.
Dean read through a 245-page statement:
a president too easily upset
by anti-war demonstrators;
wire-tapping of newsmen;
a proposal to firebomb
and burglarize
the Brookings Institution;
spying on Senator Kennedy
and other democrats;
efforts to involve
the CIA in the cover-up;
Haldeman-Ehrlichman orders
to set up a payoff fund;
perjury plans; the fictitious
Dean investigation.
Coming right down to it, Al,
when you look at it, you know,
and all this crap we're taking,
wouldn't it really be better for the country,
you know, to just check out?
Nixon: And... no no, seriously.
I mean that.
because I... you see,
I'm not at my best.
I've got to be at my best
and that means
fighting this damn battle.
Fighting it all-out.
Utley: There was a surprise witness
at the Watergate hearings today
and he made
a dramatic disclosure.
Are you aware of the installation
of any listening devices in the
Oval Office of the president?
I was aware
of listening devices,
yes sir.
Utley: Alexander Butterfield,
former aide to HR Haldeman,
said that President Nixon
ordered secret electronic
listening devices
installed in his offices
and on his telephones.
Samuel Dash: But so far as you know,
all telephone calls
were also recorded?
From the president's office telephone...
Dash: Yes.
...on his desk, in the Oval Office.
Dash: Yes.
And his regular office phone in
the Executive Office building,
and the desk telephone
in his study at Camp David,
and his telephone in the Lincoln
Sitting Room. Those four phones.
The White House today
that the president no longer
secretly records conversations.
Deputy News Secretary
Gerald Warren said, quote,
"The system has been
When asked why, he answered,
quote, "The system has
been compromised."
Rather: The Secret Service says
it guards the Nixon tapes,
but the tapes are in the control
and custody of the White House.
The pressure is on the president
to produce those tapes,
or run the grave risk that public
opinion will decide he can't
because of what
is on them.
The White House made it clear today
that President Nixon has
decided not to release
tapes of his conversations to
the Senate Watergate Committee.
Let others wallow in Watergate.
We're gonna do our job.
The president then has drawn a firm line,
a line around the White House.
He will not release
the tape recordings,
not even under threat
of subpoena.
That set the stage
for what may well be
the biggest Constitutional
confrontation in our history.
It may be some time
before the Supreme Court
makes the final decision.
If I were to make public these tapes,
containing as they do
blunt and candid remarks
on many different subjects,
the confidentiality
of the Office of the President
would always be suspect
from now on.
The President has fired
the Special Watergate
Prosecutor Archibald Cox
and the Attorney General
has resigned.
Elliot Richardson has quit,
saying he cannot carry out
Mr. Nixon's instructions.
The president knew he faced
a movement toward impeachment
by some members of the House
of Representatives.
Pierpoint: What is it about
the television coverage of you
in these past weeks and months
that has so aroused your anger?
Don't get the impression
that you arouse my anger.
I'm afraid, sir,
that I have that impression.
You see, one can only be
angry with those he respects.
Nixon: About 9:00, I woke up.
I called the office
and asked Al Haig
how things were going.
This is really the first time
in this whole period
that he sounded really down.
He said, "Well, not good."
He said the Supreme Court has
just come down with a decisio.
Carl Stern: When the decision came,
it came with maximum impact...
one decision, unanimous,
delivered by the Chief Justice Warren Burger.
President Nixon has not yet responded
to the sledgehammer decision
of the Supreme Court today,
which ruled that he must
immediately turn over tapes
of 64 presidential
I said to...
to General Haig that...
that I would resign,
but it would be
with dignity
and with no rancor.
And then I thought a minute
and I said,
"Well, Al, I really
screwed it up, didn't I?"
He didn't have to answer.
...this momentous, tragic,
sad evening,
because it looks as though
President Nixon is
going to resign tonight.
Mr. Nixon, at this hour,
is at the White House,
preparing for a talk
he will give on television
later this evening.
Nixon: I don't know how I got
myself together, but I did.
Have you got an extra camera
in case the lights go out?
I'm just kidding you.
Let me see the...
did you get these lights properly...?
My eyes always have...
you'll find
if you get past 60...
That's enough.
You've taken your picture.
Did you take one just now?
Man: Yes sir.
That's it.
Good evening.
This is the 37th time
I have spoken to you
from this office.
I have never been
a quitter.
To leave office before
my term is completed
is abhorrent to every
instinct in my body.
But as president,
I must put the interests
of America first.
I shall resign
the presidency effective
at noon tomorrow.
Vice President Ford
will be sworn in
as president
at that hour
in this office.
May God's grace
be with you...
in all the days ahead.
Richard Milhous Nixon has resigned
as the 37th President
of the United States.
What is history going to say?
How is it going to judge
Richard Nixon?
On China, on Russia,
on Vietnam,
the Supreme Court?
These things all made a difference.
All set?
I initiated programs
in the field of the environment
and hunger and cancer and drugs
that I think are very sound
building blocks for the future.
These are positive
Yes, there was Watergate,
the first president ever
to resign the office.
That's part of history.
Nixon: Always remember,
others may hate you...
but those who hate you
don't win
unless you hate them,
and then you
destroy yourself.
I think perhaps the best description
of how I felt then
was of a little couplet
that read...
"I am hurt,
but I am not slain,
I shall lay me down
and bleed awhile.
And I shall rise
and fight again."
That's the story
of my life.