I want the Brookings Institute safe cleaned out

Date: 
Thursday, July 1, 1971 - 8:45am - 9:52am
Participants: 
Richard Nixon, Bob Haldeman
Location: 
Oval Office
Listen: 


President Nixon: When you get to [John] Ehrlichman now, will you please get--”

Bob Haldeman: Yeah, we did that.

President Nixon: [Unclear]--“I want you to find me a man by noon. I won't be ready until 1--”until 12:30--”a recommendation of the man to work directly with me on this whole situation. Do you know what I mean? I've got to have--”I've got to have one. I mean, I can't have a high-minded lawyer like John Ehrlichman or, you know, [John] Dean or somebody like that. I want a son-of-a-bitch. I want somebody just as tough as I am for a change, just as tough as I was, I would say, in the [Alger] Hiss case, where we won the case in the press. These goddamn lawyers, you know, all whining around about, you know . . .

I'll never forget that they were all so worried about the [Charles] Manson case. I knew exactly what we were doing on Manson. You've got to win some things in the press.

These guys don't understand. They have no understanding of politics. They have no understanding of public relations. John Mitchell is that way. John is always worried about --œis it technically correct?-- Do you think, for Christ sakes, [that] the New York Times is worried about all the legal niceties? Those sons of bitches are killing them--”that are [unclear] are leaking to the press. This is what we've got to get--”I want you to shake these [unclear] up around here. Now, you do it. Shake them up. Get them off their Goddamn dead asses and say, --œNow, this what we're talking about. We're up against an enemy, a conspiracy. They're using any means. [banging desk for emphasis] We are going to use any means. Is that clear?--

Did they get the Brookings Institute raided last night?

Haldeman: No, sir, they didn't.

President Nixon: No. Get it done. I want it done. [banging desk for emphasis] I want the Brookings Institute safe cleaned out, and have it cleaned out in a way that makes somebody else [unclear].

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.