The Presidential Recordings Program has released another batch of Nixon transcripts from June 1971. Some selected extracts are below. The full conversation are available in the "Latest Transcripts" section accessible from the front page.
Some Selected Extracts
[Following press conference.]
Haldeman∇: One step. Yeah. Yeah, it is good. He—Rummy made the point, and I've see the comment somewhere else, that we—that Ron ought to be briefed on the legality question. That we, we . . . that we didn't get through clearly enough.
President Nixon: Mm-hmm.
Haldeman: And that there is a hang-up there—why people were arrested and not held. Because he's afraid that the impression comes through that they weren't held because they were in fact not guilty, which of course isn't the case.
Well, get [Attorney General John N.] Mitchell∇
to give us a . . . Bob, listen, let's face it.
Haldeman: So, it doesn't make that much difference.
President Nixon: Let me tell you what happened. We arrested a hell of a lot of people. In a strictly legal sense, it was not legal.
Haldeman: That's right.
President Nixon: But we had to do it. Now that's all there is to it, and we'll do it again. Because keeping this government going is more important than screwing around. Because nobody was thrown in the can—nobody was kept in the can. They were all released, so what are they squealing about?
President Nixon: And . . . but don't worry about this little technical, legal question.
President Nixon: If somebody were in jail, that's different, but nobody's in jail.
Haldeman: ...[Counselor to the President Donald H.] Rumsfeld∇—it's interesting—says, he says, "I swear I believe there was a conspiracy among the press tonight to paint the President in a corner on the subject of the demonstrations."
President Nixon: It worries Rumsfeld, of course, but not me. He doesn't realize, that's what I wanted.
Haldeman: No, it didn't worry him, but, you know, he's talking about that there was a conspiracy on it.
President Nixon: Oh, there was. There was.
[Immediately following a press conference.]
President Nixon: They're really a nasty bunch [unclear].
Oh my, yes. And they're . . . you know, some of them when they ask questions, they just look so evil.
President Nixon: [Unclear.]
Woods: Oh! Just straight out evil. But it's really fantastic, but it was a great job.
President Nixon: I really think—I think it's a tremendous possibility. I mean, we've got young people, you know, that want to do the things. We've got junior Chamber guys that would love to do it. We've got women that want to work. What the Christ are they doing? I mean—you know what I mean?
President Nixon: I just thought you ought to consider it. That this is a—I'd kind of like to get some of that where we get a young-goer, put him in charge like we're putting [Egil (Bud)] Krogh [Jr.] in charge of drugs. Boy, I couldn't feel better about drugs, because I know Krogh is a tough son of a bitch. He believes as I believe. He's going to do what I want. Right?
Haldeman: Sure. And he will. He won't give up.
President Nixon: And he won't give up, and he'll needle everybody, and we're going to do something. And Bob, that's what we need in every field. All right. I think that's—you know, that's . . . that's what that crazy [H. Ross] Perot says, but he's right.