Tuesday, June 8, 2021

the last book I ever read (Carol Leonnig's Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, excerpt two)

from Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service by Carol Leonnig:

Nixon kept banging his desk for the facts, but what he really wanted were his “preferred facts.” As the evening wore on, he told his aides to leak some fabricated “evidence” to friendly reporters. They should claim the investigation found Wallace’s shooter had ties to the left wing and the McGovern campaign. “Put it on the left right away,” Nixon told them. “Just say he was a supporter of McGovern and Kennedy. Now just put that out. Just say that you have it on unmistakable evidence.”

Haldeman took note that Bremer had a previous arrest record, which would provide concrete clues about his mental health problems. “Screw the record,” Nixon interrupted. “Just say he was a supporter of ‘that’ and ‘that’ and put it out. Just say we have an authenticated report.”

The president was focused solely on his reelection. He worried aloud that if investigators found Bremer had ties to the right wing or a Nixon supporter, Nixon could lose the White House. Sitting with Colson later in his office in the Executive Office Building, Nixon sipped a cocktail, rare for him, and mused aloud about a way to solve the problem. “Oh, wouldn’t it be great if they had left-wing propaganda in that apartment,” Nixon said. “Too bad we couldn’t get somebody there to plant it.”

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