Another of Richard Nixon's Greatest Hits today.
In Bob Haldeman's diary as published, he says:
This afternoon he got into a little harangue on IRS investigations, saying that he had been told by Billy Graham that the IRS is currently investigating him. Fortunately, Connally was there when Graham said it, so Connally got the notes on it, and was very surprised, but it is a problem. The P wants now to be sure that we get the names of the big Democratic contributors and get them investigated. Also the Democratic celebrities and so forth.
And here's what that actually sounds like:
(A dog is barking in the background.)
President Nixon: Billy Graham told us an astonishing thing. The IRS are badgering the shit out of him. Some son-of-a-bitch came and gave him a three-hour grilling about how much he, you know, how much this contribution is worth. And he told it to [John] Connally. Well, Connally took the name of the guy [unclear]. But, now look, I've just got to get that name out of Connally when you get back. Now, they've gone after Billy Graham and he didn't know it. Now here's the point, Bob: please get me the names of the Jews, you know, the big Jewish contributors of the Democrats.
President Nixon: And remember [unclear] [John] Ehrlichman, I guess, or somebody.
President Nixon: All right. Could we please investigate some of the cocksuckers? That's all.
Now look at here. Here our IRS is going after Billy Graham tooth and nail. Are they going after [President of the National Council of Churches] Eugene Carson Blake? I asked, you know, what I mean is, goddamn, I don't believe-- I just don't--”
President Nixon: I just don't know whether we are frankly being as tough as we ought to be, that's all.
Haldeman: Well, I know we haven't been up to now because we didn't have a man.
President Nixon: Sure.
Haldeman: We have a man, and . . .
President Nixon: You see--”
Haldeman: This guy's in there now is in supposedly, purely on the basis that he'll do [unclear] this.
President Nixon: [Unclear.]
President Nixon: You call [John] Mitchell. Mitchell can go stick his nose into the thing. Tell him about [unclear] went after Graham and say, -- Now, goddamn it, are we going after some of these Democrats or not?-- They've gone after [Nixon friend Robert] Abplanalp. They've gone after [Nixon friend Charles "Bebe"] Rebozo. They've gone after John Wayne. They're going after, you know, every one of our people. Goddamn it, they were after me. For example . . . [Unclear.] [tape whip] --“somebody told me that [Ed] Muskie used Frank Sinatra's plane in California. Did you hear about that?
President Nixon: Maybe we could investigate that?
Haldeman: Yeah. [chuckling] It also, landed at the wrong airport.
And that's your President of the United States and his Chief of Staff, just another day at the office.