Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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The Woodward and Bernstein Waterate Papers

The Final Days

Document Description

Rhodes interview transcription

Bob Woodward: Joe Alsop and others said you had a perception earlier this year that things might be coming to an end.

John Rhodes: I don't know whether it was May, it certainly was in the Spring. I believe it was triggered at the time that the first transcripts were released. I remember reading it. And I was shocked by two things. One was the obvious amorality of the whole thing and the second thing was the fact that Nixon just obviously wasn't his own man. I always thought of him as being in command of the situation and through those tapes came the feeling, entirely different, that he was not in command of the situation. At least not at all times. And that June 22 tape, which is the one that really put the frosting on the cake as far as I was concerned, and my decision was made on that, was quite a bit different in tone. There he was saying he was in command of the situation and, by God, he was telling people what to do and doing; as I say, there was the smokin' gun. He had it in his hand, and there it was.