TRANSCRIPT OF A RECORDING OF A TELEPHONE
CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND
H.R. HALDEMAN ON APRIL 25, 1973 FROM
7:46 TO 7:53 P.M.
OPERATOR: Thank you
HALDEMAN: Yes, sir.
PRESIDENT: Is there any, uh, way that, uh, even surreptitiously or discreetly or
otherwise I mean, that, ah, way you could determine whether uh, this matter of whether
Dean might have walked in there with a recorder on him? I don’t know.
HALDEMAN: No, I don’t think there is any way. I think ya gotta, so remote as to
be almost beyond possibility. And uh, and if he did (unintelligible).
PRESIDENT: Well we’ve gotta I mean, its, it (unintelligible), but the point is that
that’s ah, that’s a real bomb isn’t it?
HALDEMAN: Ah, ya.
PRESIDENT: Sure is. That, that’s what may be his bomb. In other words he (unintelligible).
PRESIDENT: Put that on the desk with Henry Petersen and says, “I gotta recording
of the President of the United States and here’s what he said.”
HALDEMAN: Well, that would be very hard.
PRESIDENT: If he did it, then we’d say, “yes
HALDEMAN: (Unintelligible) virtually impossible.
APRIL 25, 1973 FROM 7:46 TO 7:53 P.M. 2
PRESIDENT: (Unintelligible) Not virtually impossible. If he did it we’d say, “Yes,
sir, that was a recording and I was investigating
HALDEMAN: That’s right.
PRESIDENT: On the other hand (laughs) it’d be god damn hard on, I mean, he’d run
that in the press that’d be (unintelligible)
PRESIDENT: Well, no way to, no way to find out is there?
HALDEMAN: No, there isn’t any, there isn’t any (unintelligible) no way anybody would
PRESIDENT: We have no
HALDEMAN: Except him.
PRESIDENT: record of uh, we don’t have any (unintelligible) as to whether he has
PRESIDENT: that before, have we?
HALDEMAN: None. We have no evidence at any time under any circumstances, and I’ve,
you know, been involved in enough, you know, what is going on that I, I just find
it impossible to think that, that there would (unintelligible) you know, it could
possibly be the case.
PRESIDENT: Ummh. One thing about those things, you think that you know when a fellow
walks into me, and I didn’t look at him that closely, but you were there, god damn
I mean, I, I’d think that it’s a little, it’s, it’s, even the smallest ones are
bulky enough that you mean, with a fellow like Dean you’d sort of see that wouldn’t
ya, where do you carry them, in your hip pocket or your breast pocket?
APRIL 25, 1974 FROM 7:46 TO 7:53 P.M. 3
HALDEMAN: Oh, under your arm, you know, where they carry a pistol holster or something.
PRESIDENT: Um hmm, ya. Well
HALDEMAN: (Unintelligible) I really don’t think it’s–it’s so remote as to be almost
PRESIDENT: Ya, ya
HALDEMAN: …realm of possibility
PRESIDENT: In this matter nothing is beyond the realm of possibility. (laughter)
HALDEMAN: No, that’s true but ah
HALDEMAN: And, and
PRESIDENT: But of course we draw the sword on that if ah, if ah
HALDEMAN: (clears throat) I think if, if that’s the subject he has in mind, that
he, he’s just going to do it on the basis of his own, you know, his own record afterwards,
there’s no check.
PRESIDENT: Oh well, on that we’ll destroy him.
HALDEMAN: And ah
PRESIDENT: Its his word against
HALDEMAN: You know from the big (unintelligible)
PRESIDENT: His word against
HALDEMAN: Something like that
PRESIDENT: His word–what? His word against the President’s the ah, the ah, (unintelligible)
you were there but particularly the President’s on that (unintelligible). The only
other thing is of course his conversation with regard to the, I mean, the little
slip in your office about the…
APRIL 25, 1973 FROM 7:46 TO 7:53 P.M. 4
HALDEMAN: But that.
PRESIDENT: That was so casual.
HALDEMAN: I don_t think you_re going to have, the problem with that. I mean, other
than, other than perhaps an effort to, to base it on his conversation and you know,
his memorandum afterwards of had he done something like that, but he didn_t usually
PRESIDENT: Didn_t he?
HALDEMAN: Ummh ummh
PRESIDENT: He didn’t write conversations memorandum?
HALDEMAN: Not usually.
PRESIDENT: Hm. He probably did on this one. But uh,
HALDEMAN: As I said it sounds as if he had notes which you, you said he thought
he did (unintelligible) you know he might have used that ah
PRESIDENT: Ya that, but I mean, but he didn’t make any notes in any conversation
I ever had with him, he always sat there and then-probably as a (unintelligible)
with a good memory, you can go back and write everything down you can remember.
HALDEMAN: Ya, ya.
PRESIDENT: But ah, he’s always had or made a memorandum of the conversation afterwards
and I said this and that, on the other hand, Ziegler had a good point about Dean
which he made a few days ago, he said John Dean’s credibility is nil because
APRIL 25, 1973 FROM 7:46 TO 7:53 P.M. 5
PRESIDENT: The Dean report has proved to be false and everything else and
PRESIDENT: And you have something to say and that’ what we gotta have in mind here
now without you and John to get too god damned discouraged about this because basically
John Dean, ah, his report, uh, that he now claims that he didn’t make, his subornation
of perjury, his everything else
HALDEMAN: That’s right.
PRESIDENT: He’s ah, who the hell is to believe what he’s going to say now, and he’s
saying it now for what purpose? He’s going to be, of course, saying, “Well I, they’re
making me the scape goat and all the rest, and therefore I’m going to tell all,”
and he’s going, and as he says, “I’ll try this,” his attorney says, “This administration
right up to the President,” he didn’t say the President, but you know that’s what
HALDEMAN: Yeah, but that’s (unintelligible) the purpose–when you get down to trying
to do it, they got a very tough time.
PRESIDENT: Purpose of course was to get everybody– which now the Prosecutor Chuck,
Bob, is not about to give ’em.
PRESIDENT: No, sir, they’re not. Oh, Petersen says that I said, “Now alright, you
make your judgment on your own,” I said, “not on my behalf. He said “No,” he says,
“he’s just–much involved as a principal. We just can’t do it.” And frankly I think
it’s just as well. I think if
APRIL 25, 1973 FROM 7:46 TO 7:53 P.M. 6
HALDEMAN: He’s right.
PRESIDENT: I think if you–I think if you’re in a position now, that if you gave
him immunity, he would sit there the rest of our lives.
HALDEMAN: That’s right.
PRESIDENT: Hanging it over ya, and the point is that ah, now if he’s going to have
this pissing contest (unintelligible) all right, bring it out and fight it out and
it’ll be a bloody god damn thing, you know in a strange kind of way that’s life,
isn’t it (unintelligible) probably be understood and be rough as a cob, an we’ll
survive and some people you’ll even find (unintelligible) in Mississippi you’ll
find a half a dozen people that will be for the President.
HALDEMAN: (Laughs) Be a lot more than that.
PRESIDENT: (unintelligible) No. We do still have some support in the country, I
hope. But, uh
PRESIDENT: But we shall see, do you agree?
HALDEMAN: No question.
PRESIDENT: Ya, ya, that’s right despite all the polls and all the rest, I think
there’s still a hell of a lot of people out there, and from what I’ve seen, they’re–you
know, they, they want to believe, that’s the point, isn’t it?
APRIL 25, 1973 FROM 7:46 TO 7:53 P.M. 7
HALDEMAN: Why sure. Want to, and do.
PRESIDENT: All right. By the way, I thought there was just a th–thought that maybe
you could check th–that thing
PRESIDENT: But there no way you can check it.
HALDEMAN: There isn’t anything to check.
PRESIDENT: You’ve never heard that, uh, that he’s ever done that before.
HALDEMAN: Never, never.
PRESIDENT: Um hmm. Although as I say, if worse comes to worse, an he has one, well,
we’ve got one. (Laughs).
PRESIDENT: No. But what I mean is you’ve gotta live with it, that’s it…
HALDEMAN: Well know it’s there at least, an uh–
PRESIDENT: That’s right, that’s right, that’s right. Tommorrow th-, th-, the-, there’s
a little left on what the one you had this day, right?
PRESIDENT: Um hmm. But-but you were there during that discussion.
PRESIDENT: And I suppose that we problably discussed how the hell we get the 120,
right? I don’t remember it.
APRIL 25, 1973 FROM 7:46 TO 7:53 P.M. 8
HALDEMAN: No, no. I don’t think so, I think it was, you know, just sort of a rehash
of the other thing…
PRESIDENT: That’s right.
HALDEMAN: And basically going into the impossibility of doing it.
PRESIDENT: And the next day you, I suppose the question is, well, did you get the
120, I may have asked him that, I don’t know. I don’t think I did but I… (laughs)
HALDEMAN: I’m not even sure there was second.