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tv   Betrayal The Plot That Won the White House  MSNBC  November 23, 2018 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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> . this is a jagged little puzzle of a story. here are some of the peases. a bid for the white house. a candidate who would do anything to win, maybe conspire with a foreign government. a secret campaign meeting in an iconic tower on new york's fifth avenue. and in this case, a woman, a mysterious woman who may have tipped the scales at a time when america seemed to be coming apart at the seams. i'm not talking about 2016. no. this time the year was 1968.
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>> got news this war and they're 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 involvement. >> their contacting a foreign power in the middle of war, and they ought not 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 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 desperate 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 sabotage those peace talks. if peace talks were announced before the 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 allies, 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 -- >> 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 is doing it. >> you just see that your people don't tell the south vietnamese that they're going to get any better deal out of the united states government. >> "your people." that's how he puts to it nixon. your people are messing things up. in other calls, johnson didn't hesitate to give nixon's people a name. >> mrs. chenault. >> miss chenault and all the rest of them from running around here. >> mrs. chenault, anna. a woman known to power brokers
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as the steel butterfly. >> the number one flying tiger and his chinese bride, claire chenault marries anna chan. made second world war history and legend as commander of sky battles in china. >> anna chenault has an american story that is truly epically even cinematically unique. she is a religion from the communist takeover of china. she rises to the highest levels of society and political influence in this country, but then what she did with that influence is a question of deadly seriousness, because with anna chenault and richard nixon we got america's first taste 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 chenault affair shows us that this wealthy and connected asian american woman could change the course of american
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and vietnamese history. >> she was a businesswoman. she was a journalist. she was a significant fundraiser for the republican party. >> i think she would have loved to have been an ambassador, loved to have had some major job. but i don't think 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 the only woman in the picture. you know, a dozen men and there is anna chennault standing in the middle. >> what is going on in vietnam? >> i just returned from far east and southeast asia two weeks ago. >> a globe trotting journalist, the widow of a war hero revered from burma to beijing. and by 1968, she is an executive for 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. >> now now artillery is being called in as you 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 it in that it's hard for anybody to say ah, let's stop it. johnson once said 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. >> hey hey -- >> 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 is met by protesters. every public speech, he is going to hear those chants. you could see the toll that the war is having on lbj, physically, psychologically. >> the president was under fire from all sides. politicians as well as
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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. >> 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 lyndon b. johnson. >> gosh, this is hard to read, jim. 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 this long and this bloody war.
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>> 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 made an offer last august to stop the bombardment of north vietnam and 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 reelection. 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, it only give the other side the opportunity to rebuild their military installation. the sooner we win this war, the better off we will be. >> richard nixon and anna chenault. their views were closely aligned. there is definitely no crime in that. but what if they went beyond words to deeds? what if they were to join hands in an effort to derail the quest
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i am a techie dad.n. i believe the best technology should feel effortless. like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. 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,
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economic, and diplomatic power been used so ineffectively as in vietnam. >> this time vote like your whole world depended on it. >> 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. >> 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, and channault, and the
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south vietnamese ambassador, diem. 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. mitch legal 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, saigon's man in washington. and then there is richard nixon. by 1968, the perennial republican presidential wanna-be had lost his last two elections, and he knew 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 there the result is going to be twice as good as in 1960. >> so back on fifth avenue, july
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12th. we have three men in a hotel room, a veteran politician plotting his comeback, the man running are his political operation, and south vietnam's man in washington. plus one lone woman, anna chennau chennault. >> have i the opportunity not only talking to the leaders, but the people. >> nixon knew that anna chennault could establish a relationship between him and the south vietnamese, and 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 is notoriously known as the
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republican social hostess of the nixon era. >> i just remember that 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 and kpexoticism that was irresistible to a lot of men. i mean, you sit next to a man in power at dinner and you whisper in his ear, and you give him a good idea and it's suddenly his idea and he is acting on it. i've seen it happen a million times. >> at her party, she would always serve chinese food. she would 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. she knew what she was doing.
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she was setting up an environment for people to conduct business. >> this is how anna operated. 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 chenault who first proposed this get together with 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 meetings, middle men 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
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the ambassador was if you want to communicate anything to me, use mrs. chenaushe chenault as talk to me. >> the intrigue begins. the goal is to undermine the peace talks that johnson believes will end the war. sabotage any negotiations that might get u.s. troops out of vietnam. point man for the operation -- point woman is mrs. anna chennault. you could have gone down to the nearby tree lot and picked out a nice little spruce for the holidays... but you've got a ford escape with 4wd, and an example to set. ford escape. built for the holidays. with our best offers of the season.
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august 1968, anna chennault touch downs in saigon, south vietnam's war-time 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. 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 was 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, the bombs and so on. war was a part of everybody's
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life. >> chennault arrived in saigon with an iron-clad alibi. her work as an airline, and with contacts that went right to the top, to south vietnam's new president, nguyen bin tu. >> the campaign was nixon's going to win the war for you. he is 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 communist to the conference room. until then we will have to carry on our action. >> i don't believe she
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acknowledged in any way to our south the military situation 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 would 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,
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this is so different than how this war is being portrayed back home as something valiant and noble and containing 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 is a chance 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, we did everything he could to make sure that peace talks could not start
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before election day because peace talks were the biggest threat to his candidacy. >> 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. i haven't got any sleep, but you know how that is. >> i sure do, and i give you migrations 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 are both supposed to be great political animals, and i think it's awfully important dealing with these communists for the next four months to be completely informed of the same
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facts. >> to make sure nixon backs the peace talks, the president summons him down his ranch, lbj's home turf, to talk to nixon face-to-face. >> he and johnson in some ways share some character traits. they've 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 that they were battling both in the press and in government. so they carried those kind of sort of chip on the 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 wait until my presidency is over, and i won't be able to make any progress
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toward peace. >> nixon heads back to the campaign trail, fearful that lbj is poised to swing the election to the democrats by getting 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. with the chase ink business unlimited card,
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pull back, please! >> 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. >> well, 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 secede 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
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first civil right of every american is to be free from domestic violence. so i pledge to you, we shall have 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 it boosts the prospects of hubert humphrey. >> mid-october. lyndon johnson fuels nixon's worst fear. >> who is that speaking? dick, is that you? >> yeah, i'm on. >> hubert, are you on? >> in a kroconference call, lbj updates the candidates confident live on a breakthrough. north vietnam at last is willing to talk with south vietnam. >> this is an absolute cause with us. any speeches or any comments
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referring to the substance of these matters will be injurious to your countries. >> after all this work all year, johnson finally had a package that the north vietnamese would accept, and he was selling to it 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. 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's direct involvement and actions. >> nixon is asking about how to
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throw a monkey wrench into the 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 the sudden here he is in haldeman's notes saying keep anna chennault working on the south vietnamese. 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, bui diem, saigons a man in washington, d.c., he wires his superiors back home. he says this, quote, many republican friends have contacted me and encouraged us
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to stand firm. u.s. intelligence intercepts that cable. 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 is young and attractive. i mean, she is a pretty good-looking girl, and she is around town, and she is warning them to not get pulled in on this johnson move.
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>> it's not totally unusual that an american presidential candidate would have a go-between with a war-time 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 is 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 on board, 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,
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halloween, while kids across the country 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 parrish talks is going to take place next wednesday, november the 6th at which the representatives, the government of south vietnam are free to participate. >> moments after the president's speech, nixon's campaign
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chairman john mitchell calls his go-between, anna chennault. >> mitchell is on the phone to her that night, calls her out of a party to talk to her, have her call him back on an anonymous phone 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 south vietnamese ambassador hold on, we're going to 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 confidence to go forward in front of his national assembly and make that speech. >> the united states have ended the bombing -- >> this is where anna chennault
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is important, because she was saying, you know, if you defy johnson, there is another 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.
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6:45 pm're about to find out! you don't even know where i live... hello! see the grinch in theaters by saying "get grinch tickets" into your xfinity x1 voice remote. a guy just dropped this off. he-he-he-he. everett, how are you? >> all right. >> uh, i want to talk to you as friend and very confidently -- >> 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 the latest
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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 whose used threatening tactics throughout the course of his political career to achieve his 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. >> that's right. >> and they oughtn't to be doing this. this is treason. >> i know. >> they're contacting a foreign power in the middle of war. >> it'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
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it. >> he is 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 -- >> "meet the press" -- >> richard nixon launches his cover-up on live tv. >> i want to make it very clear every one of my public statements, including on "meet the press" i stand with the president with regard to his efforts to get the parish negotiations off 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
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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. johnson wants nixon to think he's got the goods on nixon himself. nixon wants johnson to think he has nothing to do with this. >> my god, i would never do anything to encourage hanoi -- i mean saigon not to come to the table. good god, we want them over in paris parish. we've got to get them to parish or we can't have a peace. >> lbj knew there was collusion with the south vietnamese
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government to keep them from negotiating peace. what lbj couldn't prove conclusively is if nixon was involved. >> 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 fundraiser, anna chennault, unless they knew for sure that she was speaking for nixon. >> you just see it your people don't tell the south vietnamese 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 war correspondent was poised to light the fuse. >> as the november election approached, i heard this outlandish rumor that i cabled
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the monitor overseas editor. >> beverly deepe had covered the war in vietnam for six years. this promised to be her biggest scoop yet for the science monitor. >> saigon, bui diem has notified the foreign ministry that nixon aides have approached him and told him that saigon government should hold to a firm position now regarding negotiations. if nixon is elected, he'll back the queue government in their demands. >> so, november 4, the day before the election nixon gets a call that the bureau chief of the christian science monitor has in his hands saying that
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republican interference is responsible for saigon's decision to boycott the paris peace talks and he's asking johnson for comment. johnson can make what he knows public and let the voters decide or he can keep this information classified as it then is. he is torn. everything is at stake. >> this is it. the day before the election. the christian science monitor is on the brink of breaking the news. johnson has a chance to blow nixon's cover. would he do it? >> he asks the wise men of his administration, people he trusts and he asks them what to do. >> all of his advisers are unanimous. they say you can't make this public. this is information we have picked up through classified sensitive sources, through the
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nsa, through the cia and now through the fbi. and if we start putting this kind of information into elections, that's going to change what kind of country we are. >> johnson concludes that they're right, and he doesn't do anything about it. george woke up in pain.
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nbc news projected richard nixon the 37th president of the united states. >> nishen wins by the second narrowest margin of the 20th century. the single 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 a senate confirmation or under oath and asked a question about the october events. >> she was taken advantage of in not being offered a real
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position. 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 up with fleas. >> 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 johnson's decision not to make public what he knew about nixon's treachery. richard nixon's plot to undermine the vietnam peace talks. >> i do solemnly swear. >> president johnson did believe that this was a treasonous act.
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that ultimately led to an expanded war. >> will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and 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 horrendous, you know, it was treason by any standard. >> those who said no to the war, draft dodgers, resistors, they were described as treasonous. well, 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'm not going to kill people. >> so, was it treason? nixon worked surreptitiously with a foreign power to sabotage
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the united states and tilt a presidential election. would that be treason? 50 years later that question of course has new and dismal relevance. 50 years after nixon did it we have the benefit of explicit evidence. >> i have that documented. >> locked in the vaults of the johnson presidential library there's a secret folder. it's marked do not open for 50 years. it's called, i kid you not, the "x" file. when johnson left the presidency he buried all of his evidence on the chennault affair. >> johnson wanted all this evidence of the horrible things nixon was doing in this mysterious envelope to have the evidence to blackmail him with if that was ever necessary. >> tracking down lbj's x file
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became an obsession for president nixon. rumors swirled that it was locked up in a safe in a washington think tank. well, nixon's gang of thieves never did manage to steal the x file, but one year later that same bunch of crooks, the white house plumbers, did try to pull off a somewhat similar caper, a bunkled attempt to wiretap democratic party headquarters at the iconic washington complex known as watergate. >> i shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. >> for decades the american people have hoped that with the demise of president richard nixon we'd seen the end of that level of criminal scandal at the highest level of our politics. now we know that nixon's criminal scheming included what the sitting president at the time believed to be treason by
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nixon to get himself into the white house. almost unimaginable. at least it used to be. >> now that's the story, dick, and it's a sordid story. we are engaging in a change of the balance of power in this country. >> democrats roared this week, crushing donald trump with this blue wave. >> oh, my god. >> here in minnesota we don't only welcome immigrants, we send them to washington. >> an incredible wave that is hitting all over the country. >> i pledge to serve all coloradoens. >> kansas voted for change. >> thank you, california. >> this


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