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TRANSCRIPT OF A RECORDING OF A MEETING BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND H.R. HALDEMAN IN THE OVAL OFFICE ON JUNE 23, 1972 FROM 10:04 TO 11:39 AM

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The "Smoking Gun" Tape
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June 23, 1972 FROM 10:04 TO 11:39 AM

H.R. Haldeman

Okay -that’s fine. Now, on the investigation, you know, the Democratic break-in thing, we’re back to the-in the, the problem area because the FBI is not under control, because Gray doesn’t exactly know how to control them, and they have, their investigation is now leading into some productive areas, because they’ve been able to trace the money, not through the money itself, but through the bank, you know, sources – the banker himself. And, and it goes in some directions we don’t want it to go. Ah, also there have been some things, like an informant came in off the street to the FBI in Miami, who was a photographer or has a friend who is a photographer who developed some films through this guy, Barker, and the films had pictures of Democratic National Committee letter head documents and things. So I guess, so it’s things like that that are gonna, that are filtering in. Mitchell came up with yesterday, and John Dean analyzed very carefully last night and concludes, concurs now with Mitchell’s recommendation that the only way to solve this, and we’re set up beautifully to do it, ah, in that and that…the only network that paid any attention to it last night was NBC…they did a massive story on the Cuban…

President Richard Nixon

That’s right.

H.R. Haldeman

thing.

President Richard Nixon

Right.

H.R. Haldeman

That the way to handle this now is for us to have Walters call Pat Gray and just say, “Stay the hell out of this…this is ah, business here we don’t want you to go any further on it.” That’s not an unusual development,…

President Richard Nixon

Um huh.

H.R. Haldeman

…and, uh, that would take care of it.

President Richard Nixon

What about Pat Gray, ah, you mean he doesn’t want to?

H.R. Haldeman

Pat does want to. He doesn’t know how to, and he doesn’t have, he doesn’t have any basis for doing it. Given this, he will then have the basis. He’ll call Mark Felt in, and the two of them …and Mark Felt wants to cooperate because…

President Richard Nixon

Yeah.

H.R. Haldeman

he’s ambitious…

President Richard Nixon

Yeah.

H.R. Haldeman

Ah, he’ll call him in and say, “We’ve got the signal from across the river to, to put the hold on this.” And that will fit rather well because the FBI agents who are working the case, at this point, feel that’s what it is. This is CIA.

President Richard Nixon

But they’ve traced the money to ’em.

H.R. Haldeman

Well they have, they’ve traced to a name, but they haven’t gotten to the guy yet.

President Richard Nixon

Would it be somebody here?

H.R. Haldeman

Ken Dahlberg.

President Richard Nixon

Who the hell is Ken Dahlberg?

H.R. Haldeman

He’s ah, he gave $25,000 in Minnesota and ah, the check went directly in to this, to this guy Barker.

President Richard Nixon

Maybe he’s a …bum.

President Richard Nixon

He didn’t get this from the committee though, from Stans.

H.R. Haldeman

Yeah. It is. It is. It’s directly traceable and there’s some more through some Texas people in–that went to the Mexican bank which they can also trace to the Mexican bank…they’ll get their names today. And (pause)

President Richard Nixon

Well, I mean, ah, there’s no way… I’m just thinking if they don’t cooperate, what do they say? They they, they were approached by the Cubans. That’s what Dahlberg has to say, the Texans too. Is that the idea?

H.R. Haldeman

Well, if they will. But then we’re relying on more and more people all the time. That’s the problem. And ah, they’ll stop if we could, if we take this other step.

President Richard Nixon

All right. Fine.

H.R. Haldeman

And, and they seem to feel the thing to do is get them to stop?

President Richard Nixon

Right, fine.

H.R. Haldeman

They say the only way to do that is from White House instructions. And it’s got to be to Helms and, ah, what’s his name…? Walters.

President Richard Nixon

Walters.

H.R. Haldeman

And the proposal would be that Ehrlichman (coughs) and I call them in

President Richard Nixon

All right, fine.

H.R. Haldeman

and say, ah…

President Richard Nixon

How do you call him in, I mean you just, well, we protected Helms from one hell of a lot of things.

H.R. Haldeman

That’s what Ehrlichman says.

President Richard Nixon

Of course, this is a, this is a Hunt, you will-that will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there’s a hell of a lot of things and that we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. Well what the hell, did Mitchell know about this thing to any much of a degree.

H.R. Haldeman

I think so. I don ‘t think he knew the details, but I think he knew.

President Richard Nixon

He didn’t know how it was going to be handled though, with Dahlberg and the Texans and so forth? Well who was the asshole that did? (Unintelligible) Is it Liddy? Is that the fellow? He must be a little nuts.

H.R. Haldeman

He is.

President Richard Nixon

I mean he just isn’t well screwed on is he? Isn’t that the problem?

H.R. Haldeman

No, but he was under pressure, apparently, to get more information, and as he got more pressure, he pushed the people harder to move harder on…

President Richard Nixon

Pressure from Mitchell?

H.R. Haldeman

Apparently.

President Richard Nixon

Oh, Mitchell, Mitchell was at the point that you made on this, that exactly what I need from you is on the–

H.R. Haldeman

Gemstone, yeah.

President Richard Nixon

All right, fine, I understand it all. We won’t second-guess Mitchell and the rest. Thank God it wasn’t Colson.

H.R. Haldeman

The FBI interviewed Colson yesterday. They determined that would be a good thing to do.

President Richard Nixon

Um hum.

H.R. Haldeman

Ah, to have him take a…

President Richard Nixon

Um hum.

H.R. Haldeman

An interrogation, which he did, and that, the FBI guys working the case had concluded that there were one or two possibilities, one, that this was a White House, they don’t think that there is anything at the Election Committee, they think it was either a White House operation and they had some obscure reasons for it, non political,…

President Richard Nixon

Uh huh.

H.R. Haldeman

or it was a…

President Richard Nixon

Cuban thing-

H.R. Haldeman

Cubans and the CIA. And after their interrogation of, of…

President Richard Nixon

Colson.

H.R. Haldeman

Colson, yesterday, they concluded it was not the White House, but are now convinced it is a CIA thing, so the CIA turn off would…

President Richard Nixon

Well, not sure of their analysis, I’m not going to get that involved. I’m (unintelligible).

H.R. Haldeman

No, sir. We don’t want you to.

President Richard Nixon

You call them in.

President Richard Nixon

Good. Good deal! Play it tough. That’s the way they play it and that’s the way we are going to play it.

H.R. Haldeman

O.K. We’ll do it.

President Richard Nixon

Yeah, when I saw that news summary item, I of course knew it was a bunch of crap, but I thought ah, well it’s good to have them off on this wild hair thing because when they start bugging us, which they have, we’ll know our little boys will not know how to handle it. I hope they will though. You never know. Maybe, you think about it. Good!

President Richard Nixon

When you get in these people when you…get these people in, say: “Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that” ah, without going into the details… don’t, don’t lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it, “the President believes that it is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And, ah because these people are plugging for, for keeps and that they should call the FBI in and say that we wish for the country, don’t go any further into this case”, period!

H.R. Haldeman

OK.

President Richard Nixon

That’s the way to put it, do it straight (Unintelligible)

H.R. Haldeman

Get more done for our cause by the opposition than by us at this point.

President Richard Nixon

You think so?

H.R. Haldeman

I think so, yeah



President Nixon, with edited transcripts of Nixon White House Tape conversations during broadcast of his address to the Nation.

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