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Pat Buchanan: I 'Urged' Nixon to Burn Tapes, Hillary in Same Boat

Image: Pat Buchanan: I 'Urged' Nixon to Burn Tapes, Hillary in Same Boat
Pat Buchanan (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 06:34 PM

Patrick Buchanan, former senior adviser to President Richard Nixon, tells Newsmax TV he urged the nation's 37th commander-in-chief to destroy some of the Watergate tapes that eventually led him to resign — and says it compares to the situation Hillary Clinton is in with her email scandal.

"[When] I was in the White House, all that time I urged Nixon, 'look, I don't care what we do, you ought to burn these tapes, all the ones that have nothing to do with subpoenaed conversations,'" Buchanan said Tuesday to J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan, hosts of "Newsmax Prime."

"Because they're going to keep demanding them and demanding them and demanding them until something pops up. That's the situation Hillary is in right now."

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Buchanan, who also advised Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, believes Democrats are likely panicked in the wake of daily updates on the Clinton scandal, which is now being probed by the FBI.

"If I were a Democrat and looking forward to the election of 2016 and I looked at what's been done and what's been coming out, what's been revealed, and what looks like it's going to be revealed and how far the investigation has gone and FBI and Justice, I would be appalled," Buchanan said.

"I would feel we have a candidate here who's walking through a landmine for the next 18 months and if one of those landmines goes off, that could take out her candidacy and leave you with no one really able to take on the Republican Party.

"So I would be profoundly concerned and I'd have to think there are a lot of Democrats or even pro-Hillary Democrats who are looking at this and saying, 'do we really want to go down this road when we know how it might end? Or is it time to move now to someone else who can win the election?'"

Clinton, the presumed Democratic presidential pick, is being investigated over her use of a private email address and server as secretary of state — and the possibility that top secret materials were exchanged on the unsecured system.

Court documents filed Monday showed federal investigators, who are combing through Clinton's email server, have flagged more than 300 emails that passed through her email account that may have contained classified information. That number is expected to climb, as only 20 percent of roughly 30,000 emails have been screened.

"The problem with this is it does not end. There are more and more of these emails with confidential material on them and you don't know what's going to go off," Buchanan said.

"This scandal, which seems to be hemorrhaging, could do for Hillary Clinton's candidacy what Watergate did to Richard Nixon's presidency. I don't see where and how it stops now, more and more of these documents and confidential, classified, or secret information on them.

"Frankly, I don't see how, as of now Hillary Clinton, retains her security clearances after a performance like this in office, which by any measure or standard is really well below what you would expect of a public official."

Buchanan noted that when Clinton kicked off her presidential campaign she was "way, way, way out in front."

"She has steadily been declining in the polls in terms of trustworthiness and credibility and the polls in the various states. [Her challenger, Vermont [Sen.] Bernie Sanders moves ahead in New Hampshire and we're only a few months into this really," he said.

"And then you're looking at almost 18 more months of it? This again was what happened in Watergate. Nixon was [polling favorably] at 68 percent when the POWs came home [from Vietnam] in '73 in around February and March. You know by May and June he was down to 40 percent and he never turned it around.

"If Hillary could find a place where this is shut down, it's over, we have a conclusion, it is settled, now we move on — [but] they don't have that. Every day there's something new, every week there's something new, and every time it comes out it's more embarrassing and more contradictory. You look down the road, I don't see where it ends happily."

Earlier this week, Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward, who with Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate story, said Clinton's decision to use a private email server, let alone deleting at least half of the communications on it, was "extraordinary," and reminded him of the decisions made by Nixon, whose administration was linked to a burglary of Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate Hotel and its subsequent cover-up.

"You've got a massive amount of data," Woodward said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"program. "It, in a way, reminds me of the Nixon tapes; thousands of hours of secretly recorded conversations that Nixon thought were exclusively his."

Although Clinton initially took the same position, she is now cooperating. Still, Woodward said he expects the investigations to go on for a "long, long time and the answers are probably not going to be pretty."

Appearing with Buchanan on "Newsmax Prime" was former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican who served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Hoekstra said investigators are attempting to determine what top secret or classified information may have crossed over her unsecure email system.

"Once they assess that, they have to assume that the Iranians, the Chinese, and the Russians were reading her emails in real time because this server was not secured, transmission lines, they were not secure. So these folks had it and these were some crucial times," Hoekstra said.

"I remember, this was when the Green Revolution was going on with Iran. Events were happening during this time and I'm sure the community is very concerned about, number one, what was lost....

"And secondly, when that information was lost and the Russians or the Chinese found out about how we gained access to that intelligence, what did they do to close those leaks out of their systems? If there's top secret information, absolutely, we jeopardized our national security."

Hoekstra also believes Clinton is not taking the matter seriously enough and pointed to an off-the-cuff quip she made during a speech.

"She's been terrible in responding to this. She needs to hire a crisis manager. Making a joke about top secret information being on a server and saying, you know, 'oh, I wish I was on Snapchat, these things would have automatically disappeared and I wouldn't have had to do it,'" Hoekstra said.

"Just the whole aura of this, and saying it's nothing but a partisan attack. She might have had a little bit of leeway, but the American people know what happened to David Petraeus. He lost his clearances, he paid a fine, he lost his jobs.... Democrats wake up in the morning wondering what the next shoe is that's going to drop and they know it's not going to be a good one."

Hoekstra's mention of Petraeus refers to the former CIA director and decorated four star Army general's plea of guilty to mishandling classified information after his affair with a younger woman was revealed.

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Patrick Buchanan, former senior adviser to President Richard Nixon, tells Newsmax TV he urged the nation's 37th commander-in-chief to destroy some of the Watergate tapes that eventually led him to resign - and says it compares to the situation Hillary Clinton is in with her...
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Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 06:34 PM
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