Extracted from Conversation 689-005.
Earlier that day, President Nixon had visited New York and attended several events designed to focus on the theme of the administration’s “total war” on drug addiction. He had returned to Washington at 1:35 P.M.1
President Nixon: Otherwise, Ron’s [Ziegler∇] up there now, and he, when [unclear] the election committee [unclear] problem for them. But if it’s here in the White House he’s got to answer it, doesn’t he?
Bob Haldeman∇: Mm-hmm.
President Nixon: Boy, he’s a good soldier, you know. He’s smart as hell, too. He knows exactly what questions these sons-of-bitches will ask.
Haldeman: Well, talk to him.
President Nixon: Maybe I’m wrong. But do you have a better answer?
Haldeman: No, just except that you route it through here, and that’s—
President Nixon: All right.
Haldeman: Because if you move it over there, [unclear] is compensated. What he’s doing he can’t use the White House [unclear]. If you do it in the White House [unclear] one thing [unclear] and then you have to use private funding to do what we’re now doing at government expense.
President Nixon: Oh, you can still use it.
Scraping of chairs and extraneous room noise.
President Nixon: [Unclear] and see if his phone is bugged or something. Could you do that?
President Nixon: See—I’m concerned about that [unclear] but I—that damn [Walter] Annenberg-[Arthur] Watson sttory is a—has to be from the inside [unclear].2