The Richard Nixon Library and Museum has officially posted the final 340 hours of recorded tapes, as well as 140,000 pages of documents, from the end of Richard Nixon’s controversial presidency.
The tapes cover April to July 1973 and contain conversations from the White House telephone, the Oval Office, the Cabinet Room, and even Camp David.
One notable person whose voices grace the tapes is George H.W. Bush, who calls President Nixon at 11:15 p.m. on April 30, 1973, right after Nixon’s first big Watergate speech, to show support. Nixon had just that day accepted the resignations of John Ehrlichman, presidential counsel, and H. R. “Bob” Haldeman, White House Chief of Staff, for their involvement in the Watergate scandal. When Bush brings up how well he spoke about “John and Bob,” Nixon responds in a loud and forceful voice telling Bush that he had nothing to do with those “goddamn things.”
Bush: I heard that speech with great pride. I tried to call but the switch board’s been lit up I guess…We watched it…We just attended the Republican leadership conference here and I..I really am proud of you and by golly I know it was tough and I just wanted to tell you that because it uh, to me it came through clearly and forcefully and it conveyed the deep depth of feeling that I know you must have had agonizing over John and Bob and stuff and I just wanted to tell you that before I went to sleep.
Nixon: Now George the main thing is you had nothing to do with those goddamn things.
George H. W. Bush had recently been named the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, a role he filled from January 1973 to September 1974.
Nixon goes on to offer Bush a hand in the political area by saying he will come join him and the people “all gotta to cheer.”
You can watch Nixon’s famous Watergate speech below in which he say:
Today, in one of the most difficult decisions of my Presidency, I accepted the resignations of two of my closest associates in the White House—Bob Haldeman, John Ehrlichman—two of the finest public servants it has been my privilege to know.