Richard M. Nixon on Financial Transparency of Public Servants

Mr. Trump could learn a few things from his predecessor, Richard Nixon.

This weekend the New York Times is reporting on President Trump’s financial disclosure made Friday. The report shows holdings with foreign countries and what appears to this lawyer to be a conflict of interest at best and a foreign emolument at worst. Wading into a local fight, he has apparently elected to back those Persian Gulf states he does business with, against those he does not, Qatar, where the United States has significant military basing.

In the process we get a peek into where Mr. Trump’s money comes from. So I thought I would drag out a few famous audio quotes from another public servant, poor old Richard Nixon, to compare and contrast how he handled questions about how he got his money.

The transparency contest of the two President’s isn’t even close. First we hear a short about where Mr. Nixon earned his money as of 1973; he tells us ” I made a lot of money ” then goes on to talk to the press about the sources and self define himself as “not  a crook”.

Next I found the famous 1952 Checkers speech where he refers to his wife’s coat as a “respectable Republican cloth coat”.  I love that part. Does that mean the coat is red, as opposed to Democratic blue?

So here is the first one, during Watergate, November 17th 1973: “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook”.

Then as candidate for Vice President: “Checkers Speech”September 23, 1952:

Richard M. Nixon

My Fellow Americans,

I come before you tonight as a candidate for the Vice-presidency and as a man whose honesty and integrity has been questioned…

..Pat and I have the satisfaction that every dime that we have got is honestly ours.

I should say this, that Pat doesn’t have a mink coat. But she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat, and I always tell her she would look good in anything.

One other thing I probably should tell you, because if I don’t they will probably be saying this about me, too. We did get something, a gift, after the election.

A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog, and, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore, saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was?

It was a little cocker spaniel dog, in a crate that he had sent all the way from Texas, black and white, spotted, and our little girl Tricia, the six year old, named it Checkers.

And you know, the kids, like all kids, loved the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we are going to keep it.

 


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