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tv   A TRMS Special Report  MSNBC  November 24, 2019 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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nights 6:00 p.m. eastern on "the beat with ari melber" right here on msnbc. >> announcer: this is an msnbc special presentation. this is a jagged little puzzle of a story. here are some of the pieces. a bitter race for the white house. a candidate who would do anything to win, maybe even conspire with a foreign government. a secret campaign meeting in an iconic tower on new york's fifth avenue. and in this case a mysterious woman who may have tipped the scales at a time when america seemed to be coming apart at the seems. i'm not talking about 2016. no, this time the year was 1968.
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>> got us in this war and they are afraid to get us out. >> richard nixon is behind the effort to sabotage peace. >> what we do or fail to do can determine the future of peace and freedom for the balance of this century. >> tens of thousands of young americans and vietnamese died. that's what was at stake. >> it was horrendous. it was treason by any standard. >> this wealthy and connected asian-american woman could change history. >> lbj knew there was collusion. >> it's definitely a smoking gun as regards richard nixon's direct involvement and actions. >> they're contacting a foreign power in the middle of a war, and they oughtn't to be doing this. this is treason. ♪ >> it's november 3rd, just two
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days before the 1968 presidential election. >> mr. president, i'm getting him right on. >> mr. president? >> yes. >> this is dick nixon. >> yes, dick. >> in a call secretly recorded by the white house, president lyndon johnson draws a line in the sand for his old adversary, richard nixon, the republican candidate for president. >> lyndon johnson is present before his term runs out to get the north vietnamese and the south vietnamese at the peace table. >> we all want them to come and hope they'll come and really believe they'll come. >> it's really a question of when they'll come. >> nixon was trying to sabotage those peace talks. if peace talks were announced before election day, that would help his opponent, and it would destroy nixon's very last chance to become president. >> u.s. troops were mired in a brutal conflict between the forces of communist north vietnam and our ally, south
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vietnam. johnson had escalated the war, but now with the death toll soaring, with protests and riots tearing the nation apart, president johnson had staked his legacy on getting america out of vietnam. >> i told all of you the other day -- >> johnson is talking to nixon, basically saying, i know that you're interfering with my diplomacy, and i think it's about as low as you can get. and nixon lies and denies that he's doing it. >> you just see that your people don't tell the south jet streamese -- vietnamese are going to get any better deal. >> your people. that's how he puts it to nixon. your people are messing things up. in other calls, johnson didn't hesitate to give nixon's people a name. >> mrs. chennault. >> mrs. chennault, anna, a woman known to power brokers across asia and in washington, d.c. as the steel butterfly.
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>> the number one flying tiger and his chinese bride, darryl claire s the general made second world war history and legend as commander of sky battles in china. >> anna chennault has an american story that is truly, epically, even sin matically unique. she's a refugee from the communist takeover of the china. what she did with that influence is a question of deadly seriousness because with anna chennault and richard nixon, we got america's first time of a candidate colluding with a foreign power to try to win a u.s. presidential election. and in this case, it would also change the course of a war. >> the chennault affair shows us this wealthy and connected
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asian-american woman could change the course of american and vietnamese history. >> she was a businesswoman. she was a journalist. she was a significant fund-raiser for the republican party. >> i think she would love to have been an ambassador or love to have had some major job, but i don't think that -- in those days, men didn't take women seriously that way. >> she was in a way ahead of her time to have these feelings about, gee, why are all the people making decisions white men? >> i've seen hundreds of pictures of her. she's the only woman in the picture. you know, a dozen women, and there's anna chennault standing in the middle. >> what was going on in vietnam? >> i just returned from the far east and southeast asia two weeks ago. >> a globetrotting journalist, the widow of a war hero revered from burma to beijing, and by 1968, she's an executive for a global freight airline. anna had access.
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>> but she always operated from behind the scenes because she was a back-channel operator. >> all they care is who is going to have the power to keep peace. >> and now artillery is being called in, as you can hear, very close. >> war and peace in vietnam. in 1968, that was the issue. how to end a war that had turned malignant. >> vietnam was the war that we saw in our living rooms every night. >> keep rolling. >> people would be watching the 6:00 news during dinner, and they would see the carnage of vietnam. >> all hell has broken loose. >> 1968 was lbj's fifth year as commander in chief. it was the single deadliest year of the war. already more than 19,000 americans had died in vietnam. more than 170,000 vietnamese had
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died from the north and the south. >> i think there was a momentum behind that war. so many people had died in it that it's hard for anybody to say, ah, let's stop it. johnson once said, you know, i don't want to be the president who loses a war, especially when we had this sort of mythology of having never lost a war as a country. we just didn't seem to be winning anything. >> back in the u.s., the war had become personal. vietnam had become johnson's war. >> every time he tries to leave the white house, he's met by protesters. every public speech, he's going to hear those chants. you can see the toll that the war is having on lbj physically, psychologically. >> the president was under fire from all sides.
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politicians as well as protesters. >> when the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in a war against a fourth-rate military power in vietnam with no end in sight, then i say it's time for new leadership in the united states of america. >> and, yes, at the apex of the war, the u.s. was holding a presidential election. so now let's back up to march 31st, 1968, the day that vietnam ended the presidency of linden b. johnson. >> gosh, this is hard to read. you have no idea. >> on that last evening in march, tv cameras rolled into the oval office. even the president's staff had no idea how their world was about to change as johnson spoke live to an anxious nation. >> tonight i want to speak to you of peace in vietnam and southeast asia. there is no need to delay the talks that could bring an end to
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this long and this bloody war. >> johnson was desperately trying to end the war on his watch. he had it in his head the hope that somehow, some way, he could get the north vietnamese to the negotiating table and end the war. >> i renew the offer i made last august to stop the bombardment of north vietnam in the hope that this action will lead to early talks. >> lbj offers to stop the bombing but only if the north agrees to talk peace with south vietnam. then johnson plays one last card. >> we worked together on the speech. we went over march 28th, two or three days before the president was going to deliver it, and the president said, maybe i shouldn't run for office. >> i shall not seek, and i will not accept the nomination of my
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party for another term as your president. >> johnson's speech shocked the world. the president would not run for re-election, and here was his offer to finally end the war. for presidential candidate richard nixon, lbj's peace proposal was a political nightmare. nixon needed the democratic party to own the horror show of the vietnam war, not to solve it. and the steel butterfly, anna chennault, she saw lbj's proposed bombing halt as a military blunder. >> every time we stop the bombing, only give the othside opportunity to rebuild their military installation. the sooner we win this war, the better off we will be. >> richard nixon and anna chennault. their views were closely aligned. there's definitely no crime in that. but what if they went beyond words to deeds? what if they were to join hands
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in 1968, america's war in vietnam drove the news and the presidential election. republican front-runner richard nixon seized every opportunity to fuel voters' anxieties over the course of the war. >> never has so much military, economic, and diplomatic power been used so ineffectively as in vietnam. >> this time, vote like your whole world depended on it. >> in 1968, he's not taking any chances, and he sees that the democrats can politicize the peace process in vietnam to their advantage. and he's not above sabotaging the process.
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>> the plot is born. july 12th, the pierre hotel, 39th floor. nixon campaign headquarters. the candidate and a top foreign diplomat meet in secret in an iconic tower on new york's fifth avenue. >> the only people present at this meeting were nixon himself, his campaign chairman, john mitchell, anna chennault, and the south vietnamese ambassador. nixon decided to make it a very, very shady operation indeed. >> just four people alone in a back room at nixon's headquarters. let's break it down. john mitchell, nixon's 1968 campaign manager. that name may ring a bell. mitchell will go on to become nixon's attorney general and one of the co-conspirators sentenced to prison for the crimes of watergate. also bui diem, south vietnam's
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ambassador to the united states, saigon's man in washington. and then there's richard nixon. by 1968, the perennial republican presidential wannabe had lost his last two elections, and he knew that this was his last shot. >> in 1968, he wanted that presidency so bad that he was willing to do whatever was necessary. >> this is twice as big a crowd as we had in 1960, and the result is going to be twice as good as in 1960. >> so back on fifth avenue, july 12th, we have three men in a hotel room -- a veteran politician plotting his comeback, the man running his political operation, and south vietnam's man in washington. plus one lone woman, anna chennau chennault. >> of course i had the opportunity to not only talking to the leaders but the people. >> nixon knew that anna
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chennault could establish a relationship between him and the south vietnamese and that just in case it became public, nixon could pretend that she was not his real envoy. >> after just ten years in washington, d.c., anna had fast-tracked her way to wealth and influence and a penthouse on top of the brand-new watergate complex, which she made into her private clubhouse for the global elite. >> she loved to do parties. she's notoriously known as the republican social host es of ese nixon era. >> i just remember when she would walk into a room, she owned the room. she had a lot of sexual power. i'm not saying that she had sexual relationships with people, but i just think that she exuded an aura of sexuality
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and exoticism. you sit next to a man and whisper in his ear. you give him a good idea and it's his idea and he's acting on it. >> at her party, she would always serve chinese food. she'd make little jokes like this dish is called concubine chicken. i knew she was having people on. but in her mind, she was playing to their expectation. yes, this is a chinese woman. s >> she knew what she was doing. she was setting up an environment for people to conduct business. >> this is how anna operated. in t and the july 12th fifth avenue meeting is her masterpiece. we actually dug up the calendar page from her daily calendar. new york to see dick nixon with ambassador bui diem. keep in mind it's chennault who first proposed this get-together
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to nixon. but it's dick nixon who turns their private meeting into a cloak and dagger campaign operation. >> nixon is eager to meet but wants to keep it secret even from his own secret service detail, which is suspicious all by itself. >> secret meeting, middlemen and women, foreign ambassadors and a tower in new york city. >> exactly what is said is not really recorded anywhere, but the clear message from nixon to the ambassador was if you want to communicate anything to me, use mrs. chennault as a way to talk to me. >> the intrigue begins. the goal is to undermine the peace talks that president johnson believes will end the war, sabotage any negotiations that might get u.s. troops out of vietnam. point man for the operation,
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point woman, is mrs. anna chennault. any comments doug? yeah. only pay for what you need with liberty mutual. only pay for what you need with liberty mutual. con liberty mutual solo pagas lo que necesitas. only pay for what you need... only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ cake in the conference room! showing 'em you're ready... to be your own boss. that's the beauty of your smile. crest's three dimensional whitening... ...removes stains,... ...whitens in-between teeth... ...and protects from future stains.
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august 1968. anna chennault touches down in saigon, south vietnam's wartime capital. >> mrs. chennault feared that south vietnam would be the next domino to fall to the communists unless america held the line against communist north vietnam. n n >> now anna had come to join the struggle as richard nixon's secret agent. >> i went with her on one of her trips to saigon. we stayed at the hotel caravel downtown where most of the reporters were staying. it's a weird atmosphere from the hotel restaurant on top. you could see flares on the edge of the city, bright lights in the night sky, bombs and so on. the war was a part of everybody's life. >> chennault arrived in saigon with an ironclad alibi, her work
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as an airline executive, and with contacts that went right to the top, to south vietnam's new president. >> the information from the campaign to the government was nixon's going to win the war for you. he's going to stand by you better than any democrat. >> for anna, this mission for nixon was driven by bitter personal history. >> she hated the communists because she hated what had happened to china. it was about china, china, china. >> anna chennault believed she was on the right side of history, that the worst thing for asia and the asian people was communism. >> only by showing our strength that we'll be able to bring the communists to the conference room. until then, we will have to carry on our action. >> i don't believe she acknowledged in any way to herself the military situation
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that existed. a lot of people didn't recognize it. >> by august of 1968, america's war in vietnam had already killed yet another 11,700 americans that year alone. for the vietnamese, those numbers were even more grim. at least 116,000 dead in just seven months. >> on a standard day, you'd go into a village, and you'd start searching it, throwing stuff around inside of somebody's house, and worse. you don't win hearts and minds by burning down houses and shooting chickens and by taking target practice on some farmer. not that these things were typical, but they happened often enough to not win hearts and minds. i used to remember thinking, god, this is so different than how this war is being portrayed back home, as something valiant and noble and containing
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communism. >> the time has come for honest government in the united states of america. >> in miami, richard m. nixon stood before the republican party and for the second time in his life, accepted their nomination for president of the united states. >> we shall begin with vietnam. >> nixon was very two-faced about this. >> we all hope in this room that there's a chance that current negotiations may bring an honorable end to that war. >> in public, in his acceptance speech at the republican convention, said that he would do nothing to interfere with the chances for negotiating peace. >> and we will say nothing during this campaign that might destroy that chance. >> in secret, however, he did everything he could to make sure that peace talks could not start before election day because peace talks were the biggest threat to his candidacy.
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>> that threat is fresh in nixon's mind. just hours before nixon accepted the nomination, lbj had called to congratulate him as the president watched the convention on tv from his texas ranch. >> hello. >> dick? >> hello, mr. president. >> how are you? >> well, i'm just fine. haven't had any sleep, but you know how that is? >> i sure do, and i give you my congratulations and my sympathy. >> boy, i tell you, isn't that the truth? >> johnson never liked or trusted nixon. it goes way back to the time he was in the senate and nixon was in the senate. >> dick, i want to keep in close touch with you. we're both supposed to be great political animals, and i think it's awfully important dealing with these commies for the next four months to be completely informed with the same facts. >> to make sure nixon backs the peace talks, the president summons him down to his ranch,
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lbj's home turf to talk to nixon face to face. >> he and johnson in some ways share some character traits. they had been raised in sort of rural areas without prestigious educations. they both felt inferior in their own way to these northeastern establishment elites that they felt like they were battling both in the press and in government. so they carried those kind of sort of chip on their shoulders. >> since march, johnson had been struggling to coax north vietnam into talks with south vietnam. negotiations looked promising, but it was far from a done deal. >> nixon fears that the north vietnamese will accept johnson's conditions while johnson's fear is if nixon will halt the bombing for fewer conditions than i will, then the north vietnamese will just wait until my presidency is over, and i won't be able to make any progress toward peace. >> nixon heads back to the campaign trail, fearful that lbj is poised to swing the election to the democrats by getting
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north and south vietnam to talk peace. but nixon was playing to win, ready to undermine lbj, to steer saigon away from the negotiating table with a word in the ear of the south vietnamese president from richard nixon's asian connection, mrs. anna chennault. i need all the breaks that i can get. at liberty butchumal- cut. liberty biberty- cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ whether your beauty routine is 3or 57,... make nature's bounty hair skin and nails step one. it's the number one brand uniquely formulated for silky hair, glowing skin and healthy nails. nature's bounty, because you're better off healthy.
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i'm richard lui with your hour's top stories. defense secretary mark esper has fired his secretary of the navy in connection with a controversy over a s.e.a.l. whose case has been championed by president trump. esper said he had lost trust and kofd in navy secretary richard spencer over his lack of candor about conversations with the white house. and michael bloomberg made it official. the billionaire and former new york city mayor announced his run for the white house. now back to the trail, the plot that won the white house.
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peace now, peace now! >> two weeks after the republican convention in miami, all eyes turned to the democrats in chicago. >> the tear gas is going out now. the tear gas exploding. >> this is happening on michigan avenue. the democratic national convention is in the process of nominating a presidential candidate. >> the chicago convention, the convocation to nominate vice president hubert humphrey to succeed president lyndon johnson. >> i am ready to lead our country. >> the chaos that engulfed the democrats was practically an advertisement for the republican party. candidate richard nixon capitalized on the anger and the unrest, the war at home. >> let us recognize that the first civil right of every american is to be free from domestic violence. so i pledge to you we shall have
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order in the united states. >> nixon leads in the polls, but his white house dreams are haunted by lbj's progress toward ending the war. >> nixon worries about the prospect of an october surprise, that peace is being negotiated, that it's in hand, and that it boosts the prospects of hubert humphrey. >> mid-october, lyndon johnson fuels nixon's worst fear. >> who is that speaking? dick, is that new. >> yeah, i'm on. >> hubert, are you on? >> yes, sir. >> in a conference call, lbj updates the presidential candidates confidentially on a big breakthrough in the negotiations. north vietnam at last is willing to talk with south vietnam. >> this is in absolute confidence because any speeches or any comments referring to the substance of these matters will be injurious to your country. >> after all his work all year,
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johnson finally had a package that the north vietnamese would accept, and he was selling it to the south vietnamese. >> nixon gets a top-secret briefing from the commander in chief on his progress toward peace. and what does nixon do? he betrays the president and the nation. >> we want nixon! >> after a rally in ohio, nixon makes a late-night call to his top lieutenant, h.r. haldeman, and he orders him to pull the trigger on their scheme. and how do we know this? >> we have the notes taken by nixon's campaign chief of staff, h.r. haldeman. >> it's definitely a smoking gun as regards richard nixon direct involvement and actions. >> nixon's asking about how to throw a monkey wrench into the
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process, and he's ordering haldeman to make sure anna chennault stays active. >> nixon had always denied any personal knowledge of anna chennault's behavior. and, wow, all of a sudden, here he is in haldeman's notes saying, keep anna chennault working on the south vietnamese and any way else we can monkey wrench johnson's initiatives. it was not just one casual remark. it's a whole battle plan. >> the very next day after nixon orders his chief of staff to monkey wrench it, to keep anna chennault on the job, telling saigon to not go along with the peace talks -- the very next day, anna's friend, south vietnam's man in d.c., he wires his superiors back home in saigon. he says this, quote, many republican friends have contacted me and encouraged us to stand firm. u.s. intelligence intercepts that cable.
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once president johnson gets wind of the republican interference, he orders the fbi to wiretap the vietnamese embassy. october 30th, the fbi sends president johnson a classified memo. ambassador diem received a call from an unidentified woman believed to be anna chennault. >> johnson is flabbergasted. he did not see this coming. >> mrs. chennault, you know, mrs. chennault is kind of the go-between. she's young and attractive. i mean she's a pretty good-looking girl, and she's around town, and she is warning them to not get pulled in on this johnson move. >> it's not totally unusual that
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an american presidential candidate would have a go-between with a wartime ally. the issue is whether or not that representative is charged with taking steps to undermine the government's policy. >> while lbj and his national security team strategize about how to close the deal on the peace talks, the fbi begins round-the-clock surveillance on anna chennault. >> she's followed by the fbi. there's fbi reports of her activities. john mitchell is very concerned about talking to her and making sure that they only talk on an anonymous phone that won't be bugged. >> now that johnson has north vietnam onboard, he tries to force all parties to the peace table. he wants to make it impossible for south vietnam to say no to the talks. the next evening, october 31st, halloween. while kids across the country
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are heading out for trick-or-treating, johnson takes over the airwaves to address the nation. >> i speak to you this evening about very important developments. >> just five days before the election, richard nixon's nightmare, the october surprise, lurches to life. >> we have reached the stage where productive talks can begin. i have now ordered that all bombardment of north vietnam cease. a regular session of the paris talks is going to take place next wednesday, november the 6th, at which the representatives of the government of south vietnam are free to participate. >> moments after the president's speech, nixon's campaign chairman john mitchell calls his go-between, anna chennault. >> mitchell is on the phone to
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her that night, calls her out of a party to talk to her, have her call him back on an anonymous phone so that he can check with her and make sure are the south vietnamese going to hold firm. are they going to not come to the peace talks? >> november 2nd, the fbi tapped the south vietnamese embassy telephone and overheard anna chennault telling the south vietnamese ambassador, hold on. we're gonna win. >> from president thieu's perspective, it's no little thing to defy the president of the united states of america. but this gave him the confidence to go forward in front of his national assembly and make that speech. >> this is where anna chennault is important because she was saying, you know, if you defy johnson, there is another
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president, if you help him get elected, who would stand by you, namely richard nixon. >> president thieu, america's ally, drops his own bombshell on lbj. quote, the government of south vietnam regrets not to be able to participate in the present exploratory talks. south vietnam's president sends a signal to washington loud and clear three days before the american election. there will be no peace talks while lyndon johnson is in office. with the clock ticking down, richard nixon has sabotaged lbj's quest to end the war. but one last twist remained to play out. cologuard: colon cancer screening for people 50 plus at average risk. some things are harder than you thought. and others are easier. like screening for colon cancer with me, cologuard. i'm noninvasive and you use me at home. i'm also effective. i find 92% of colon cancers using dna in your stool.
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everett, how are you? >> all right. >> i want to talk to you as a friend and very confidentially because i think -- >> three days before the election, lyndon johnson strikes back. the president calls the senate's top republican, everett dirksen, with a message for dick nixon. nixon's people, he says, are treading on dangerous ground, and the president has the goods to burn agent anna chennault. >> and here's is the latest information we got. the agent says that she's just talked to the boss, and he says, just hold on until after the election. >> when you hear johnson talking to dirksen, you hear in johnson this master politician who's used threatening tactics throughout the course of his political career to achieve his
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political ends. >> it's classic johnson. it's classic. you know, get the head of the republican party to try and get nixon to do this. >> now, i'm reading their hand, everett. i don't want to get this in the campaign. and they oughtn't to be doing this. this is treason. >> i know. >> they're contacting a foreign power in the middle of a war. >> that's a mistake. >> and it's a damn bad mistake. you just tell them that their people are messing around in this thing and if they don't want it on the front pages, they better quit it. >> he's holding out the prospect of going public with this explosive story. at the same time, you can hear johnson's palpable anger and indignation that somebody would tamper with the peace process that could end a war. >> senator dirksen delivers the message to the nixon camp. the very next morning, sunday, two days before the election --
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>> "meet the press." >> richard nixon launches his cover-up on live tv. >> i want to make it clear in every one of my public statements and including in "meet the press," i stand with the president with regard to his efforts to get the paris negotiations off dead center. >> after making that very public lie, nixon doubles down on his cover-up in a very private call. >> mr. president? >> yes. >> this is dick nixon. >> yes, dick. >> this conversation is a master class in political subtext and subterfuge. >> i just wanted you to know that any rumbles around about somebody trying to sabotage the saigon government's attitude, certainly have absolutely no credibility as far as i'm concerned. >> i'm very happy to hear that, dick, because that is taking place. now, here's the history of it. i didn't want to -- >> you got two guys sort of bluffing each other.
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johnson wants nixon to think he's got the goods on nixon himself. nixon wants johnson to think, he h has nothing to do with this. >> my god, i would never do anything to encourage saigon not to come to the table. you've got to get them to paris, or you can't have a peace. >> lbj knew there was collusion with the south vietnamese government to keep them from negotiating a peace. what lbj couldn't prove definitively was that nixon was involved. >> some of the old china lobby are going around and implying -- >> anyone with half a brain knows that richard nixon is behind this effort to sabotage the peace talks because the south vietnamese would not listen to a fund-raiser, anna chennault, unless they knew for sure that she was speaking for nixon. >> you just see that your people don't tell the south vietnamese
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that they're going to get any better deal out of the united states government. >> one fact remained unspoken but well understood. if this story hit the news, richard nixon's white house dreams would explode in scandal. in saigon, a veteran foreign correspondent was poised to light the fuse. >> as the november election approached, i heard this outlandish rumor that i cabled the monitor overseas editor. >> beverly deepe had covers the war in vietnam for six years. this promised to be her biggest scoop yet for the "christian science monitor." >> saigon, october 28th. there's a report here that vietnamese ambassador to washington bui diem has notified the foreign ministry that nixon aides have approached him and
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told him the saigon government should hold to a firm position now regarding negotiations. if nixon is elected, he'll back the thieu government in their demands. >> so november 4th, the day before the election, johnson's at the lbj ranch when he gets a call that the bureau chief of the "christian science monitor" has in his hands a story saying republican interference is responsible for saigon's decision to boycott the paris peace talks, and he's asking johnson for comment. or he can keep this information classified. as then is. he is torn. everything is at stake. >> this is it. the day before the election.
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the christian science monitor is on the brink of breaking the johnson has a chance to blow nixons cover. would he do it? he asks the wise men of his people he trusts. and asks them what to do. all of his adviser are unanimous. they say you can't make this public. this is information we have picked up through classified sensitive sources. through the nsa through the cia and the fbi. if we start putting this kind of information into elections, that will change what kind of country we are.n johnson doesn't do anything about it. he concludes they're right. str, i ll the breaks that i can get. at liberty butchumal- cut. liberty biberty- cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance
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37th president of the united states. >> nixon wins by the second narrowest margin of the 20th century. the singling narrowest was in 1960 the election that nixon lost to president kennedy. >> winning is more fun. >> nixon wins and anna thinks i will be a big deal in this administration because richard nixon owes me. and basically he wants no part of her. >> the nixon administration were afraid of any position for which she would have to have senate confirmation or under oath and asked a question about the october events. >> she was taken advantage of in not being offered a real position.
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it is possible that she herself felt she was most taken advantage of. by president nixon. >> i suspect that she didn't like nixon because nobody liked him. but she got burned. you lie down with dogs you get flees. >> each moment in history is a fleeting time. but some stand out as moments of beginning. in which courses are set that shape decades or centuries. >> nixon wins. in part thanks to johnsons decision not to make public what he knew about nixon's treachery. nixons plot to under mine the vietnam peace talks. >> i do solemnly swear. >> president johnson did believe that this was a treasonous act. that led to a expanded war. >> will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and
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defend the constitution of the united states. >> this was not just tinkering with a few votes. this cost 20,000 american lives. i don't know how many thousand wounded. the cost of that was her republican douse. it was treason. by any standard. >> those who note of the war. draft dodgers and resisters. they were described as treasonous. if i had known as a soldier in vietnam that nixon had scuttled or certainly delayed for sure a peace process, it seems treasonous and more treasonous than the guys who said no, i won't go kill people. >> so, was it treason? nixon worked with a foreign power to sabotage the united states and tilt a presidential election. would that be treason?
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50 years later that question of course has new and dismatt relevance. 50 years after nixon did it we have the benefit of evidence. >> i have that document. documented. >> locked nd the vault of the johnson presidential library. there is a secret folder. marked do not open for 50 years. it's called i kid you not, the x file. when johnson left he buried his evidence on the affair. >> johnson wanted this evidence of the horrible things that nixon was doing in this mysterious envelope to have the evidence to blackmail him with if that was necessary. >> tracking down the x file. became an obsession for president nixon. rumors swirled that the nixon white house that the blackmail folder was locked in a safe as a washington think tank.
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>> nixons gang of thieves never managed to steal the x file. one year later that same bunch of crooks the white house plumbers tries to pull off a similar caper. a bungle attempt to wiretap democratic headquarters. at the washington complex known as water gate. >> i shall resign the presidency effective noon tomorrow. >> for decades the american people have hoped that with the demise of richard nixon we'd seen the end of that level of criminal scandal. now we know that nixons criminal scheming included what the sitting president at the time believed to be treason. by nixon. to get himself into the white house. almost unimaginable. at least it used to be.
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>> how do you feel that so many people think that steven avery is innocent? >> it's emotional. they made him look like he was a nice person. >> what's happening is wrong. >> the evidence is beyond overwhelming. steven avery is guilty. >> i'm innocent. >> the story gripped the nation, in the series, "making a murderer." >> so many americans have heard about it. >> it's being heard around the world. >> steven avery and his nephew convicted


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