TODAY   |  August 22, 2013

Secret recordings show Nixon uncensored

New recordings show the presidential pressures on Richard Nixon as he coped with the backlash from the Watergate scandal. The president is heard talking with advisor H.R. Haldeman and Calif. Gov. Ronald Reagan who offered his support.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> final batch of secretly recorded phone calls and meetings from president nixon 's white house as he deals with the white house and the watergate scandal . peter, good morning to you.

>> reporter: savannah, good morning to you. 39 years have passed since president nixon abruptly resigned. still his life fuels our fascination. these tapes, more than 340 hours worth, give us an unparalleled window into an unprecedented time of presidential turmoil.

>> the following program is brought to you in living color on nbc.

>> reporter: it was the spring of '73.

>> i'm going to make him an offer he can't refew.

>> reporter: the "god father" was the best picture , tony orlando and dawn topped the charts. tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree

>> reporter: and the wheels were starting to come off richard nixon 's presidency.

>> the man at the top must bear the responsibility.

>> reporter: after his first major address on the topic announcing the resignations of his closest advisors, nixon, who apparently had a few drinks, spoke with hollerman by phone unsensors.

>> i'm [ bleep ] never going to discuss this [ bleep ] again, never, never, never, never.

>> reporter: that night governor ronald regan called in his support.

>> we're still behind you out here and i wanted you to know you're in our prayers.

>> each of us has a different religion.

>> yeah.

>> but god [ bleep ] ron we have to build peace in the world.

>> how did you ever mary such a pretty girl ? my god.

>> well, i'm lucky.

>> you're lucky? that's right.

>> reporter: by july with the senate in the midst of its watergate investigation, nixon was fuming about his attorney general being called to testify.

>> they bring him before the stinking committee on a stinking little crappy thing like this.

>> it's a component of his arrogance that he thought, you know, he didn't know i'm doing this. no one will ever know.

>> reporter: and those tapes end in july of '73 when they were publicly revealed. that secret recording system was publicly revealed. matt and savannah, before he resigned in disgrace.

>> peter alexander , thank you. how extraordinary to hear it in real time .

>> think about these recordings of what was made back then. 50 years ago it will be a mime that they're listening to.