'I'm Never Discussing This SOB Watergate Thing Again'
Last 340 hours of Nixon tapes out
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2013 4:47 AM CDT
In this April 29, 1974 photo, President Richard M. Nixon points to the transcripts of the White House tapes.   (AP Photo/File)

(Newser) – The final batch of the Richard Nixon tapes—barring hundreds of hours being kept aside for national security reasons—has been released and while they probably won't change anybody's opinion of the ex-president, they're still a gold mine for history buffs. Some highlights from the tapes, which run from April to July 1973, when they abruptly end as soon as Congress learns about Nixon's secret taping system:

  • After his first speech on Watergate and the resignations of four top officials, Nixon was done talking, CNN reports. "Goddammit, I'm never gonna discuss this son of a bitch Watergate thing again. Never, never, never, never," he vowed after the April 30, 1973, speech. He would, of course, go on to discuss Watergate many more times before his August 1974 resignation.

  • Soon after the Watergate speech, Nixon received calls of support from no fewer than three future Republican presidents, the Los Angeles Times reports, including his own successor, Gerald Ford. "We're still behind you out here, and I wanted you to know that you're in our prayers," then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan told him. George HW Bush, then chairman of the GOP, said, "I was really proud of you, and my golly, I know it was tough, and I just wanted to tell you that."
  • The 340 hours of tape include plenty of discussion about relationships with Moscow and Beijing, the Wall Street Journal notes. Nixon can be heard saying it is vital that he survive the Watergate scandal, because "who the hell else can talk to Brezhnev?" He calls China "the critical problem of our age" and discusses how to deal with "the ablest people in the world": "They're very subtle—and they're not like the Russians, who, of course slobber at flattery and all that sort of thing."
  • More of Nixon's anti-black and anti-Jew bigotry is exposed in the tapes and the Atlantic rounds it up. In an April 1973 call with Henry Kissinger about an upcoming Soviet summit, Nixon said he was all for "a little anti-Semitism" in the interest of US foreign policy. "It's about goddamn time that the Jew in America realizes he's an American first and a Jew second," he says. In a June meeting with aide Anne Armstrong, Nixon says black people are incapable of running Jamaica—or anywhere else. "Blacks can't run it. Nowhere, and they won't be able to for a hundred years, and maybe not for a thousand," he says. "Do you know, maybe one black country that's well run?"

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Showing 3 of 37 comments
HMD-SMD-ITY
Sep 1, 2013 10:32 PM CDT
Interesting indeed that he never got to go through a trial where both Clintons did go through a trial, each on their own corruption charges. But as you know with the Zimmerman case, sometimes guilty people can put on the charms and convince a jury otherwise. Thus was the case with the Clinton Klan. I still think there is a good chance Hellary's sealed indictments can unsealed and in some instances have not timed out. Its mainly for the Mena Arkansas incidents when she was an attorney for most of the known criminals of Ozark land. We only had once chance to nail Bill to the wall and missed it. We also lost out on Kennedy killing poor Mary. At least that kept him out of the oval office, so it was a partial victory. We have more victories in my state with the dozens of federal convictions of highly placed Democrats. Election fraud, voter fraud (which everybody says does not happen), campaign finance crimes, wire fraud, and federal grant fraud. Nixon's crimes look like j-walking lately. I never thought we would get any convictions on any of these people but we did. I just have to hold out hope on Hellary, the queen of mean. I'm kind of torn on when the indictments could best be unsealed. Too early and it would play out well before the election begins. Too close to the election and the way cases move it would not affect her until a couple years into the presidency. Maybe on her inauguration day would be best. It would be like springing it on her wedding day. It if does get to happen it will be one of the biggest messes since Clinton's impeachment trial. I know the indictments did exist because I really trust the federal agents who taught at my first police academy in the late 80's. He knew the indictments existed and they were not related to the Whitewater investigation. It was all about her dark pony days in Mena as an attorney for the mob there.
boxcar
Aug 26, 2013 9:15 PM CDT
Nixon's greatest fear was WaterGate proceedings would "open a can of worms" (his own words) That can would expose that JFK assassination was a Coup de' Etat, where w/in a few months I saw documents generated in RocketDyne projecting major increases in sales for solid rockets due to preparations for the planned out Viet Nam war, now that JFK was gone. Also Nixon was meant to be "enthroned" in 1960 so he could Normalize relations with China- Whatfor? SLAVE LABOR was proven to be effective for NAZIS Germany's war effort, so why not US Corp's make use of Chinese SLAVE LABOR to keep production costs down, just ship whole factories to China and sell products back to USA at high prices, a tremendous margin spread between manufacturing costs and prices the market would bear back in the good ol' USA Altho JFK's election delayed the game plan, Nixon finally did succeed in Normalizing Chinese relations Well, the rest is history, and we are reaping the results of what Nixon had done- no jobs for Americans Hey, during Nixon's tenure I knew of American GM engrs who went over to Japan to work on Robotics Unions didn't allow Robotics to be developed in this country, so GM and others went overseas- DUH
antigen-xy
Aug 24, 2013 4:03 PM CDT
Let's not also forget that he was egotistical and vengeful. He was a smart man who did do some good things for the country, but with the kinds of faults he possessed one can hardly say that he was the greatest president of our lifetime. He was rightly run out of office and those Republicans like Reagan and H.W. Bush blundered in calling him and saying they "supported" him. You can bet that never came out in their campaigns for president.