Our Nixon (2013) Movie Script

-Where to begin?
Um, we've waited a long time
to chat with Bob Haldeman.
And now we have the opportunity,
and, uh, the
question is where to start.
Here you were, you worked four
years in Washington as Nixon's
number two man--
Nixon's SOB, as you
called yourself.
Dick Nixon never went to Key
Biscayne without you.
He never went anywhere
without you.
-Pretty close to right.
-What you're accusing yourself
of is a cloudy crystal ball.
That's hardly the mea culpa
that the American public
thinks it's entitled to.
That's the issue.
-Well, maybe the American
public's wrong.
I know in my own heart, and I
know in my own head, precisely
what I did.
I know precisely why I did it.
-And I know that I made
some mistakes.
I deeply regret those
Richard Nixon's right-hand
man, he was the one most often
recorded on the tapes, and
they destroyed him.
-I had the rare privilege for
four years of serving on the
White House staff under one of
America's greatest presidents.
Former White House
chief-of-staff HR Haldeman found
guilty today on five
counts in the Watergate
cover-up trial.
-Do you regret what happened,
and what you did?
-Oh, sure.
The country lost motion.
Uh, a lot of the good things we
were working on in the way
of domestic reforms, uh,
were lost in the mess.
Uh, you can't help but regret,
uh, an aftermath of that kind.
A lot of good people had their
lives spoiled in the process.
Ehrlichman has finished his
He was then returned to
the holding room.
Rather a strange phrase, Nelson,
the holding room.
Give's you an ide-- idea that
they're holding a chemical or
a bacterium or something.
White House domestic
affairs adviser, John
Ehrlichman, four counts--
-Uh, the references to like an
era of criminality, or like
people there were trying
to rape the
country of its democracy.
I mean, I just don't
see it that way.
-Chapin was linked in several
reports to the Watergate case,
alleged sabotage of
the Democratic
presidential campaign.
today was found guilty
of lying to the Watergate
grand jury.
-I don't think you can take that
little piece of history,
which may have been the darkest
days of Richard
Nixon's career, and construct
from that a mosaic that tells
you all about that man.
[film projector noise]
[crowds cheering]
Richard Milhous Nixon, do
solemnly swear--
-I, Richard Milhous Nixon,
do solemnly swear--
you'll faithfully
execute the office--
--that I will faithfully
execute the office--
--of President
of the United States--
--of President
of the United States--
--and will, to the
best of your ability--
--and will, to
the best of my ability--
protect, and defend--
protect, and defend--
--the Constitution
of the United States.
--the Constitution of the
United States.
So help you, God.
So help me, God.
[music - "hail to the chief"]
-The new president was in his
office here at the White House
at 7:30 this morning, before
anyone else on his staff, and
after only about four
hours sleep.
He's felt for sometime that he
could do this job pretty well,
and he was eager to get at it.
-President-elect Nixon today
named another long time aide,
HR Haldeman, to be a White
House assistant.
-Haldeman, a Los Angeles
advertising executive, served
as chief-of-staff for
the Nixon campaign.
is the closest thing
to an alter ego the president
has, noted for his
conservative views, his crewcut,
and his nonstop home
movie taking.
just an extremely exciting
time for all of us.
It was terribly hard work,
and very, very
long difficult hours.
But it was exciting because you
were building something.
There was no great ideological
thrust or, uh, noble ambition
involved in this, and no thought
at all of, of, uh,
becoming permanently involved
in either politics or
It was, it was a thing where
I felt it would be an
interesting side experience,
where I could make a
contribution, and that something
would be a learning
experience, and an interesting
experience for me.
So that's, that's
why I did it.
-The White House staff, as it
evolves, I think you'll find
will be smaller than it's
been in the past.
I know you'll find it'll be
probably the youngest one in
history-- certainly one
of the youngest.
named as a special assistant
was another ad man, 27-year-old
Dwight Chapin, who
served as Mr. Nixon's
personal aide.
got to keep in mind I was 27
years old at that point.
And we'd just gone through this
campaign, and I was just
waiting to see what unfolded.
The day that I went in and
interviewed for the job, and I
met this young 34-year-old
crewcut guy by
the name of Bob Haldeman.
And Bob Haldeman changed
my life.
I've never laughed as much as
when I worked in the Nixon
White House.
The, the sense of humor was
the leveling factor.
Things which'd--
messes we would find ourselves
in, or whatever it might be.
-I think a lot of the younger
staff people here find that he
can far excel, uh, them in terms
of energy and stamina.
took a camera on all my
trips-- a super 8--
and I have quite a collection
of film.
-John Ehrlichman, a 43-year-old
Seattle lawyer,
who directed Nixon's campaign
tour, will have a broad
advisory role in the Nixon
-I think this first year
will be seen as
basically a time of reform.
-Ehrlichman is the president's
chief aide for domestic
affairs, understudy of Haldeman,
whom he has known
since college.
was not a passionate Nixon
person, uh, going in.
Probably if, if some college
friend had invited me to go
and dance for John Kennedy,
I might have gone.
There were very few illusions
about Richard Nixon, I think,
among the senior staff--
as we got into things.
Uh, a good deal of kind of
wry humor about his, uh,
mannerisms, and his foibles,
and his prejudices.
Nevertheless, you're, you work
for the President of the
United States.
He's the only president
Uh, you all elected him.
Uh, we all work for him, and
it's up to us to make it work.
It was a very
unnatural kind of life.
And, um, you had the feeling
you were in the middle of a
great big, brilliantly
lighted, badly
run television show.
I was taking a home movie
of this throughout.
I advanced the
first trip to Europe.
Uh, eight countries, and, and,
uh, I found myself hobnobbing
with the King of Belgium, and
the Pope, and all these folks,
and, and it got to be very
heady, very fast.
[speaking italian]
[speaking italian]
How are you?
Their critics call them the
Germans, and describe their
office as the Berlin Wall.
I'm speaking of President
Nixon's chief White House
advisers, Henry Kissinger,
John Ehrlichman, and HR--
for Harry Robbins--
Everyone these days knows
who Henry Kissinger is.
John Ehrlichman is the
president's assistant for
domestic affairs.
But HR Haldeman's job is not an
easy, tidy one to describe.
And of the three men, he has,
been by his own choice, the
least visible to the public.
He's the only one of the three
never to have given a
television interview,
until now.
His friends talk of his
brilliance, his efficiency,
his total dedication to the
president, and his lack of
personal egotism or jealousy.
His critics call him cold,
arrogant, hostile to the
press, inaccessible.
This interview was filmed a
week ago in Mr. Haldeman's
office at the White House.
You have no calendar
of your own.
You, you really follow
the president's day.
You're available, as I
understand it, from 7:00 in
the morning on, and
on, and on.
What does this do to
your personal life?
-Well, it, uh, poses some
problems in it sometimes.
But, uh, I have, fortunately,
uh, a very understanding wife,
and, and four very interested
and understanding children.
your sons want you to grow
your hair longer?
-[LAUGHS] I was afraid you'd
probably ask that.
you've probably seen the picture
of my sons that we
sent out for Christmas.
But, uh, because my older son
has, what I would call, very
long hair, and my younger son
has pretty long hair.
They don't look like daddy, if
that's what you mean.
-They don't.
But, uh, I've faced the fact
that, uh, they're the ones
that are in style, and I'm the
one that's out of step on, uh,
hair styling.
And, uh, I'm afraid they're
right and I'm wrong on that
-You have said--
I'm using one of your
quotations again--
"I often find it fascinating
to ponder by what standards
history will judge Nixon when
all the partisan battles are
over." Well, how do you think
he will be judged?
-If he has the opportunity to
move ahead with what he's
trying to do, I think there
isn't any doubt he'll be
judged as one of the
great presidents.
Good morning.
Man is about to launch himself
on a trip to the moon, with
the expectation of
landing there.
Man going to the moon here
this morning, from this
Florida launch complex aboard
that Saturn rocket.
The rocket will go, will put the
men into orbit 115 miles
above the Earth for one
and a half orbits.
And then the third stage--
[music playing]
Uh, go ahead, Mr. President.
This is Houston.
-Hello, Neil and Buzz.
I'm talking to you by telephone
from the Oval Room
at the White House.
And this certainly has to be
the most historic telephone
call ever made from
the White House.
And as you talk to us from the
Sea of Tranquility, it
inspires us to redouble our
efforts to bring peace and
tranquility to Earth.
For one priceless moment, in the
whole history of man, all
the people on this Earth
are truly one--
one in their pride in
what you have done.
Armstrong is on the moon--
Neil Armstrong, 38-year-old
American, standing on the
surface of the moon, on
this, July 20, 1969.
That's one small step for man.
One giant leap for mankind.
A typical day for me.
Haldeman would pick
me up around 7:15.
He-- the car would get Bob.
Then it would get Larry
Higby, Bob's aide.
And then it would swing by my
house, and they'd end at the
White House.
I am responsible for the
scheduling, and also for the
president's daily activities.
Our thing was a machine,
and I knew my place.
A-- it really reflected a lot
about Richard Nixon, the
degree to which he wanted
things controlled.
It literally was from 6
o'clock in the morning until
9 o'clock at night,
every day of the week--
and Saturdays and
Sundays, too.
And that pace was unremitting,
totally consuming, for
somebody like me.
very tough on people, feeling
that I had to be.
There's something about
the presidency that--
I've been ridiculed for my
picking up to Navy term of
zero defects.
But you do have to operate
as close to zero
defect as you can.
And I was not overly concerned
with whether people like me,
as a result of it or not.
I was only concerned with the
result the president wanted
got carried out.
-Why didn't you burn
the tapes?
Surely you talked about it.
-Well, I-- the question came up,
at one point, should the
tapes be destroyed?
And my strong recommendation
was that they
should not be destroyed.
-That was a mistake, wasn't
it, Mr. Haldeman?
Yes, sir.
I would say that given what we
now know, and what's now
happened, that, that it was a
disastrous thing to have done.
But there was never a thought
that one word of those tapes
would be played in public, or
be played to other people.
And when it got to the point of
having to release them, or
of having even to consider the
possibility of releasing them,
they should have been, in my
opinion now, it should've have
been destroyed.
-I had no idea about
the taping system.
you didn't know about
the, uh, the tape maker--
the taping system in the
Oval Office, did you?
it come as a surprise?
-It did.
Our White House staff was
essentially a dysfunctional
I think Nixon believed that he
didn't have to share every
piece of information
with everybody.
Listening to the tapes is very
revealing, because he's
talking to others about me,
and what I should know and
what he didn't want
me to know.
And he did the same thing with
Kissinger and the same thing
with a lot of people.
Um, several times I, I
recall his saying to
me, don't tell Henry.
He kept little water-tight
compartments of information,
and it didn't work very well.
-Dan Rather, who has closely
observed the Nixon presidency,
reports now on the first
year in office.
months, Richard Nixon proved
himself to have been
He emerged as a shrewd political
manager, with a
chance to be remembered as a
consummate politician, in the
mold of Woodrow Wilson or
Franklin Roosevelt.
Nixon-- the supremely
disciplined and
introspective loner.
His mind--
methodical, cautious.
Given to worry?
But never, never let
the worry show.
the byword for every
public appearance.
Calculated non-flamboyance.
Make up to cover the beard,
special hair tonic to cover
grey at the temples, and a ready
smile to cover worry.
One year does not make or
break any president.
A first year does
set directions.
What the past year has proven
is that the principal
directions of the Nixon
presidency are--
cutting back commitments
abroad, reforming the
machinery of government at home,
and laying political
foundations that will have
Republicans replacing
Democrats as the majority party
in the decade ahead.
President Nixon's primary
focus, his own personal
attention, was almost totally
dedicated to ending the
war in Vietnam.
Nixon tried to move into his
committed areas of welfare
reform, some areas of economic
reform, and all that.
But the one factor which really
totally overrode all of
those factors was Vietnam.
had been the office, in the
president's office, several
different occasions where he
had a handkerchief out, and was
wiping tears out of his
eyes, and he'd been there
writing notes to parents of
kids who'd been killed.
So I came from it, that the
president was doing the very
best he could, and that he
was trying to end it.
And that he-- so I, I didn't
have much compassion for the
people in the streets.
I respect their right to
demonstrate, because that's,
that's, you know, that's what
the country's about.
But, I mean, I was of the
opinion that the demonstrators
prolonged the war.
They didn't help us get out.
They made it worse.
And that's just how I view it.
[music playing]
What do you want?
When do you want it?
What do you want?
When do you want it?
Good evening.
Marching behind flags, and
banners, and picket signs
demanding peace now, at least
200,000 anti-war protesters
jammed the streets of Washington
today, in what was
probably the biggest peace
demonstration to be held since
they began six years ago.
Despite the huge crowd, no Nixon
administration official
spoke at the rally or appeared
on the capitol hill platform.
What do you want?
When do you want it?
What do you want?
When do you want it?
-What is important is not just
that we are here today,
because we have been here
before, you and I. We've been
here before and we've
been other places.
And what we have to decide is
that we're going to keep
coming back until
this war ends.
-Good evening, my fellow
A few weeks ago I saw
demonstrators carrying signs
reading, "Lose in Vietnam.
Bring the boys home." Well, one
of the strengths of our
free society is that any
American has a right to reach
that conclusion, and to advocate
that point of view.
But as President of the United
States, I would be untrue to
my oath of office if I allowed
the policy of this nation to
be dictated by the minority who
hold that point of view,
and who try to impose upon
the nation by mounting
demonstrations in the street.
And so tonight, to you, the
great, silent majority of my
fellow Americans, I ask
for your support.
I pledged in my campaign for the
presidency to end the war
in a way that we could
win the peace.
I pledge to you tonight that I
shall meet this responsibility
with all of the strength and
wisdom I can command--
in accordance with your hopes,
mindful of your concerns,
sustained by your prayers.
Thank you, and good night.
[interposing voices]
[music playing]
World War I?
Well, we're grateful
Thank you for coming out.
Very grateful.
Irish night at the White
House, a salute to the visiting
prime minister of the
Emerald Isles with dances
from Castle Shannon.
Yet the crowd could hardly wait
for the truly big event
of the evening.
The president and Mrs. Nixon
ended the suspense in a
lighthearted mood.
-I understand that I'm supposed
to make a surprise
-The difficulty is that every
time I'm supposed to make a
surprise announcement, I find
that some way it's leaked
before I get to make it.
Even though the information may
have leaked out, until I
say it, it's not official.
-And so tonight Mrs. Nixon and I
are very honored to announce
the engagement of our daughter
Tricia to Mr.
Edward Cox of New York.
[music playing]
-And now to commemorate this
event, we have as our special
guests tonight the Ray
Conniff Singers.
It's very difficult
to describe them.
Most of you have heard them.
And if the music is square, it's
because I like it square.
[laughter and applause]
-President Nixon, stop bombing
human beings, animals, and
You go to church on Sundays,
and pray to Jesus Christ.
If Jesus Christ were here
tonight, you would dare drop
another bomb.
Bless the Berrigans, and
bless Daniel Ellsberg.
Two, three, four.
-"The New York Times" began
publishing a partial text of
assiduously prepared study in
the Pentagon relating to the
origins of American involvement
in Vietnam.
Five days later, "The Washington
Post" began
publishing excerpts from the
same Pentagon report.
On June 22, "The Boston Globe"
joined the "Times" and the
"Post," and published
material from the study.
The documents printed in the
papers were classified, which
means, according to the
government, they were not to
be made public.
[music - ray conniff singers]
-A single name has been
mentioned most prominently as
the possible source of the
"Times" documents.
Daniel Ellsberg, a former State
Department and Pentagon
planner-- and of late something
of a phantom
-I think we cannot at all let
the officials of the executive
branch determine for us what it
is that the public needs to
know about how well,
and how, they are
discharging their functions.
[music - ray conniff singers]
[music - ray conniff singers]
-The Pentagon report is only
the beginning in itself, an
incomplete history.
There will be much more.
The temptation will be great
for a witch hunt, the
unmasking of villains, and the
manufacturer of scapegoats.
-The president was furious.
Kissinger was furious.
It was very intense.
it was a little like walking
on eggshells.
I mean, it was just a
tense, tense time.
-The irony of the Pentagon
Papers is that they were not
critical of Nixon.
They were very critical of the
Johnson administration.
But Nixon was committed to the
proposition that classified
documents, secret documents,
ought not to be stolen and
given away.
Some of these documents actually
did get into the
hands of foreign governments,
as well as part of them
getting in the papers.
And the president and Kissinger
were very upset that
this man would be doing
these kinds of things.
-You were so mad at Ellsberg.
This dirty guy.
I don't have to tell you or
anyone else that the-- that
the, the anger and resentment
toward, toward Ellsberg was
near hysterical levels
in the White House.
-This didn't develop into any
pathological hatred of, of
Daniel Ellsberg.
It developed into a rather
coldblooded, and in my, uh,
view, uh, uh, misguided, uh,
attempt to discredit Ellsberg
in the public eye.
Because at the time Daniel
Ellsberg was being made a
public hero, and there was an
effort to try to show that
this man was not necessarily
the, the great savior of the
nation that, that many were
portraying him as.
think I changed during the
time I was at the White House.
I'm not sure whether it
was for the better.
But it probably was not at the
time that I was there.
When you first go in there, at
least when I first went in
there, I asked a lot
of hard questions.
Why, why are we doing
it this way?
What's the, what's the
justification for this program?
Why are we spending
this money?
Uh, why does this fellow
work here?
You know, those kinds
of things.
After a couple years, I, I felt
like I was defending the
status quo rather than
challenging it, and trying to
get it changed, and repaired,
and made better.
And that
was not satisfying me at all.
I had a very clear sense that
I was becoming part of the
problem after a while, rather
than the solution.
And I remember one day thinking,
I had just moved
that pile of firewood from
over there to over here.
And today I was going to have to
move it from over here back
to over there.
And thinking to myself how
strange it was to be coming to
this historic place, and dealing
with these great
issues, seeing the President
of the United States two or
three times a day, and feeling
like I was just in the
business of moving
cordwood around.
And I thought to myself, well,
if it's come to that point,
[LAUGHING] it's time
I was out of here.
Uh, I let Nixon and Haldeman
talk me into staying.
-Good evening.
I have requested this television
time tonight to
announce a major development
in our efforts to build a
lasting peace in the world.
I sent Dr. Kissinger, my
assistant for national
security affairs, to Peking
during his recent world tour
for the purpose of having talks
with Premier Zhou Enlai.
The announcement I shall now
read is being issued
simultaneously in Peking and
in the United States.
Premier Zhou Enlai, on behalf
of the government of the
People's Republic of China, has
extended an invitation to
President Nixon to visit
China at an appropriate
date before May 1972.
President Nixon has accepted the
invitation with pleasure.
two decades every American
president has been presented to
the Chinese people as the
archenemy, as the
personification of hated
capitalism and imperialism.
Most Asians recognize this
development as a momentous
step that can change the
whole complexion of
this part of the world.
found out I was going to China
from Bob Haldeman.
I was the acting
chief-of-protocol for that trip.
And, uh, it was one of the great
mountaintop experiences.
I-- the, the thing--
the thing about the flight to
China was-- one of the things
was-- that it was just
kind of surreal.
The plane was taking off to go
to China, and we've got a
television set there watching
us take off.
I mean, everything about that
trip was televised.
I mean, it was a production
from start to finish.
president will journey to
Peking in the dead of winter, a
season especially severe in
the Chinese capital.
Following the joint
announcement, issued at 4:00
AM, Peking time, the White
House news secretary
reemphasized Mr. Nixon's stated
purpose for becoming
the first American president
to visit mainland China.
-As President Nixon has pointed
out on a number of
occasions, he shall try in the
meetings with the leaders of
the People's Republic of China
to seek a new direction in the
relationship between our two
countries, and to end the
isolation of our two great
peoples from each other.
hours after his arrival, Mr.
Nixon is taken to meet Chairman
Mao Tse-tung.
The fact that Chairman Mao
arranged an immediate meeting
with the American chief of
state in his home is
considered significant by
diplomatic observers.
Included is an evening at the
Peking Opera to see a ballet,
"The Red Detachment of Women,"
that depicts the overthrow of
a cruel landlord by female
communist partisans.
skies have been somber in
Peking all day, and in
the afternoon a light
snow began to fall.
In the city streets, men and
women with brooms began
sweeping it up almost
flake by flake.
And it seemed to have no dimming
effect at all on the
exuberance of President Nixon
and Premier Zhou Enlai in
their third long conversation.
Thank you.
We all have little kit--
kids the same age.
I mean, people have ice
skating parties.
There would be--
we have just all kinds
of things.
And we're in our 30s, and
we're, you know, living.
There were pranks.
There were these incredible
And it was our, our senses of
humor and our personalities
that it made it all,
you know, nice.
-The illegal bugging apparently
was one, uh, aim of
a team which broke into the
Democratic National
Headquarters in Washington
during the weekend.
And the political backgrounds of
the men charged in the case
have kicked up a storm.
Barry Serafin has the story.
Watergate Apartment Hotel
office complex in Washington has
a fortress like appearance
that is noted for
its security.
But the burglars penetrated that
security to break into
the sixth floor offices of the
Democratic National Committee.
Material from files there was
found in their possession.
Democratic spokesmen
called the file
information very mundane.
Here and in the men's rooms in
the adjoining hotel, police
confiscated expensive
photographic and electronic
eavesdropping gear, as well as
several thousand dollars in
consecutively numbered bills.
-Apparently about five men,
one of them clearly under
contract and employed by both
the Republican National
Committee and the campaign to
re-elect the president.
Uh, this, I thought, this
administration was a law and
order administration.
And I've never seen such a crass
violation of individual
rights as, uh, we have seen
in this instance.
-I must say that it's the, uh,
legacy of years of wire
tapping, and snooping, and
violation of privacy in which
the government, itself, has
been too deeply involved.
[crowd cheering]
Well, I--
I, again, proudly accept your
nomination for President of
the United States.
[crowd cheering]
let us pledge ourselves to win
an even greater victory this
November, in 1972.
[crowd cheering]
-Four more years.
Four more years.
Four more years.
Four more years.
President Nixon's victory in
the election is surely one of
the biggest landslides ever.
Let's look at the popular
vote now, with
almost all of it counting.
With 98% of the precincts
reporting, it's Nixon--
This adds up to a record
breaking 521 electoral votes
for President Nixon,
who won 49 states.
McGovern carried only
Massachusetts and the District
of Columbia, for 17
electoral votes.
-At first it was called
the Watergate Caper.
Five men, apparently caught in
the act of burglarizing and
bugging Democratic Headquarters
in Washington.
But the episode grew steadily
more sinister.
No longer a caper but the
Watergate Affair, escalating
finally into charges of a high
level campaign of political
sabotage and espionage
apparently unparalleled in
American history.
The charges center about
a man whose very name
in Italian is secrets.
Donald Segretti.
Reports in major newspapers
say White House aides
recruited Segretti for secret
intelligence work and dirty
tricks against the Democrats.
Segretti went to college
with several men now
in the White House.
He was particularly close with
Dwight Chapin, and several
press reports document
recent links
between Chapin and Segretti.
A grand jury is investigating.
I, Richard
Nixon, do solemnly swear--
I, Richard
Nixon, do solemnly swear--
--that I will faithfully
execute the office of President
of the United States--
--that I will faithfully
execute the office of President
of the United States--
--and will, to
the best of my ability--
--and will, to
the best of my ability--
--preserve, protect, and
defend the Constitution
of the United States.
--preserve, and protect, and
defend the Constitution
of the United States.
-So help me, God.
-So help me, God.
[music - "hail to the chief"]
rings, it's John Dean.
And he said, have you given
any thought to what you're
going to do next?
And I said, John, what
in the world are you
trying to tell me?
And he said, well, I think you
need to figure out what, what
you're going to do next.
And I said, does
Bob know this?
And he said, Bob asked
me to talk to you.
I could not believe it.
So the next day I flew
up to Camp David.
And Bob met me, and we went over
to one of the cabins, and
talked, and we were
both crying.
And he said that it looked
like I was going to be a
political problem to the
president because of all the
Segretti stuff, and
this guy Sam Ervin
may hold some hearings.
And, therefore, it's probably
better, for your career and
everything else,
if you move on.
I mean, it was just horrible.
I, I, I-- there's nothing that
can describe how I felt.
So I sucked it up.
Said, yes, sir.
Went into the men's room
to get myself kind of
straightened up, and there is
the Attorney General of the
United States, Richard
bawling like a baby.
He had just met with
I'm thinking to myself,
this thing's surreal.
I mean, I can't believe this.
So I went back, got on the
helicopter, and started
figuring out my life.
-Leon Jaworski said, "if the
American people had not
demanded action in the Watergate
scandal, it might
have grown into outrages as
great as those in Nazi
-Well, here again, you're,
you're into this, this verbal
excess thing that it, it just
seems to me is, is, uh, uh,
easy to do after the fact.
What was the mentality--
what was the mindset
in the Nixon White
House that led to Watergate?
-Watergate didn't
lead from the--
didn't come from the Nixon White
House, and I don't think
there was any mindset that
led to Watergate.
-Well, you--
the president is
out of office.
Men in the Nixon White
House went to jail.
What was the mindset--
what, what happened--
-That's the problem.
I don't know what happened.
-The burglary had nothing to do
with Richard Nixon at the
time that it occurred.
If he had kept distance
between himself
and that whole episode--
he didn't know about that in
advance, I'm persuaded.
I've never heard anybody
come forward with any
evidence that he did.
If he had kept distance between
himself and that
episode, and just said, you
know, those guys did it,
they're going to have to
take their punishment.
That is what could have saved
Richard Nixon, I'm persuaded.
A little, little
quick surgery.
But he was the compulsive
minutia man.
He had to get involved.
He had to-- he had to dabble in
this, in this, uh, um, uh,
conspiratorial, um,
uh, spy stuff.
And he pulled it all
into his office.
-What's the dumbest
thing you did?
-The dumbest thing I did was,
was not to go to him when I
realized this, and say, look, if
you don't go out there and
make a clean breast of this
thing, I'm going out to the
press room, and I'm going to
tell them everything I know
about this.
And then I'm going to
walk out of here.
you think you'd have the
courage to do that?
-Well, obviously, I didn't.
I just was, I was not playing
with a full deck.
I just didn't know,
at the time, one--
that there were tapes.
Two-- that he was as deeply
involved as he was.
[rewinding tape]
Ladies and gentlemen,
President Nixon has requested
time on the networks this
evening for a report
on Vietnam.
-Good evening.
I have asked for this radio and
television time tonight
for the purpose of announcing
that we, today, have concluded
an agreement to end the war and
bring peace with honor in
Vietnam and in Southeast Asia.
The following statement is being
issued at this moment in
Washington and Hanoi.
At 12:30 Paris time today,
January 23, 1973, the
agreement on ending the war and
restoring peace in Vietnam
was initialled by Dr. Henry
Kissinger on behalf of the
United States and special
adviser Le Duc Tho on behalf
of the Democratic Republic
of Vietnam.
Let us consecrate this moment by
resolving together to make
the peace we have achieved
a peace that will last.
Thank you, and good evening.
-Senate Democrats have chosen
North Carolina's Sam Ervin to
investigate the Watergate
bugging case.
The committee would have full
subpoena power and a half
million dollar budget.
-When it was learned today that
some of the Watergate
conspirators had been involved
in illegal actions relating to
the Pentagon Papers case, the
whole affair took on a new,
and more sinister, air.
of the convicted Watergate
conspirators, Howard Hunt and
Gordon Liddy, burglarized the
offices of a psychiatrist of
defendant Daniel Ellsberg to
get files on Ellsberg.
-The message of Watergate, as I
read it, is the same as the
message of the Pentagon
That from the eyes of people
who work for the president,
all law stops at the
White House fence.
-The entire political system,
uh, the entire standard of
politics, uh, in the country has
reached an all time low.
-The president, and his
cabinet, and his
administration owe this country
an explanation, first
of all, and, secondly,
an apology.
-I don't respect the type of
journalism, the shabby
journalism that is being
practiced by "The Washington
-Informed sources say it was the
Watergate prosecution that
set off the recent series of
explosions, and that there are
further time bombs in President
Nixon's hands.
We're in, uh, late April of
1973, and I'm really getting
beat up in the press.
Uh, we're going to make it.
Yeah, let me get up here to
the door, and then I'll--
Excuse me.
There we are.
I'm going to, uh, be following
the unvarying practice of
having no comment on this
matter until its final
I have delegations of FBI agents
in and out of my office
all the time.
And all of a sudden it has
dawned on me that I have a
very serious problem, that
Richard Nixon has a very
serious problem, that Haldeman
and a lot of other people have
serious problems.
-The president flew south to
look at flood damage, and
dedicate a Naval training
station in Mississippi to
Senator John Stennis.
In the presidential party were
HR Haldeman and John
We're on Air Force One.
We were going off to, uh,
dedicate a John Stennis
memorial rocket launcher or
something in Mississippi.
And I'm standing on the flight
deck, and it occurred to me
for about 30 seconds that I
could crash this airplane, and
that would put an end to
everybody's problems--
mine, and Nixon's, and
Haldeman's, and everybody,
everybody who was aboard.
I stepped off that airplane,
and usually the drill is
Richard Nixon steps off the
airplane and all the cameras
click away, and all that.
He got off-- nobody paid
any attention to him.
I got off, and then, boy, you
know, they were all taking,
uh, mugshots.
The very last conversation I
had with him there, we were
talking about this break-in in
California, the Ellsberg
psychiatrist break-in.
And he said, I didn't know
about that, did I?
And I had to, I had to indicate
to him that he did
know about it.
Now, I didn't know there was a
taping system in the
room at the time.
Uh, since then it's occurred to
me that he, he was talking
for the record, among
other things.
But, at the same time, I--
I'm convinced he really didn't
know the difference between
what was true and what wasn't
true at any given moment for a
long time [inaudible].
And he could, he could persuade
himself of almost anything--
which is kind of too bad.
Thank you.
There you are.
Good evening.
President Nixon moved at the
highest level today to cleanse
the White House of the taint
of the Watergate scandal.
-The president has asked me to
announce that he has today
received and accepted the
resignation of two of his
closest friends, and most
trusted assistants, in the
White House.
-In their statements of
resignation, Haldeman and
Ehrlichman blamed many of their
problems on the press.
Whether the president plans to
incorporate any such statement
in his nationwide address
tonight is unknown.
-Today, 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
two of the finest public
servants it has been my
privilege to know.
I want to stress that, in
accepting these resignations,
I mean to leave no implication
whatever of personal
wrongdoing on their part.
And I leave no implication
tonight of implication on the
part of others who have been
charged in this matter.
God bless America, and
God bless each and
every one of you.
-Dwight Chapin, President
Nixon's former appointment
secretary, today was found
guilty of lying to the
Watergate grand jury
investigating political
sabotage during the 1972
presidential campaign.
-I will never, ever, under any
circumstance, have a regret
for any contribution, or any
hardships, or anything else,
that have come out of the work
that I have done, uh, with
Richard Nixon.
I loved what I did, and it
was very important to me.
And, and I think these
friendships just, you know,
are golden, and they
still exist.
-John Ehrlichman, President
Nixon's domestic affairs
adviser, is behind bars tonight,
the highest ranking
former Nixon aide to go
to prison so far.
-For myself, I went through
a process of being just
absolutely stripped bare.
I woke up one day realizing that
there was nothing left.
There just really
wasn't anything.
And it occurred to me that there
might be an opportunity
in all of that to do it over
again simpler and better.
"Bob" Haldeman, convicted for
his part in the Watergate
scandal, is here to see his
daughter graduate
from law school.
On Wednesday, Haldeman reports
to the federal prison in
Lompoc, California, to begin
serving a two and a half to
eight year sentence.
-I've spent five years in a
legal defense against, uh,
first of all an investigation,
and then a, a
charge, then a trial--
---and then a year and
a half in prison.
All of that time, had to
work on my defense.
The time is, is here to, uh, to
stop defending, at least on
my part, and to start
looking ahead.
There's a lot more to my
life than Watergate.
There's a lot more to my
life than politics.
-Convicted Watergate cover-up
conspirator John Ehrlichman is
out of a job.
The one time White House aide
to former President Richard
Nixon has ended his brief
career as an ice cream
pitchman on television.
By all accounts,
the ad campaign
was simply a meltdown.
-Try this stuff.
It's unbelievable.
And believe me, [LAUGHING] I'm
an expert on that subject.
-The California ice cream
company that ran the ad said
consumer response was so
negative the Ehrlichman
commercials were being taken
off the air immediately.