1977 Nixon Interviews

Please consider the Nixon Interviews in 1977.

Nixon spent more than two years away from public life after resigning from office in 1974, but he granted British journalist David Frost Frost an exclusive series of interviews in 1977.

Nixon's chief of staff Jack Brennan negotiated the terms of the interview with Frost. Nixon's staff saw the interview as an opportunity for the disgraced president to restore his reputation with the public and assumed that Frost would be easily outwitted.

The premiere episode drew 45 million viewers, the largest television audience for a political interview in history — a record that still stands today.

In part 3, Frost asked Nixon about the legality of the president's actions. In the context of American national security, Nixon replied: "Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Trump Tweets April 13, 2020

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The following video conversation also took place on April 13. It's in reference to Trump's claims made in the above Tweets .

Trump: "When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total. And that's the way it's got to be."

Reporter 1: "Total?"

Trump: "It's total. the governors know that. You have a couple of bands of Democrat governors but they will agree to it."

Reporter 2: "You said when someone is president of the United States, their authority is total. That is not true."


Trump: "You know what we are going to do. We're going to write up papers on this, it's not going to be necessary because the governors need us one way or the other."

Please play the video. Trump had a chance to walk back his Tweets and instead he doubled down with a veiled threat against states that would not comply.


  1. Trump 2020: "When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total. And that's the way it's got to be."
  2. Nixon 1977: "Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

Governors Object

More than a couple of governors Object.

Pennsylvania and Six Northeast States Chime In

Also note Pennsylvania One Of Seven States To Work Together On COVID-19 Plans For Reopening

In neither case did the states offer Trump a say in the decision.

I cannot see Republican governors going along with this unconstitutional power grab. Then again, as we all know, "when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

After this monstrous fiasco, Trump may wait for the governors to pick dates, then pick the same dates with a further declaration it was all his idea.

How these video clips look in a national election is another matter.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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