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Correcting the Historical Record

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2017




Alice Mayhew

Listen to and Read Colodny/Mayhew Interview and Transcript.

** Note: The transcript below begins 1-minute and 30-seconds into the audio.

COLODNY:

Ah, and I asked him, specifically about the Hughes/O'Brien problem, you know, that -that in his testimony he said, ah, something to the effect that, well quote, I'll quote from his testimony ...

MAYHEW:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

. ..ah, he said in his testimony that the O'Brien stuff was peripheral for his office, that he really was no big deal and he had nothing to do with it.

MAYHEW:

Right.

COLODNY:

Well, the book directly contradicts the testimony.

MAYHEW:

What does the book say?

COLODNY:

Well the book has him getting this memo and shows he's dealing with Bob Bennett and doing a whole lot of things. In other words ...

MAYHEW:

So I presume he -all right my presumption would be, frankly, if l were in your shoes, was that he's being evasive in his testimony and when he was writing his book when he had nothing to lose he was telling the truth, that's what I would guess.

COLODNY:

Well, that isn't what he answered.

MAYHEW:

What did he say?

COLODNY:

If he – if he had answered that way, it wouldn't have been a problem.

MAYHEW:

Yeah, what did he say?

COLODNY:

Ah, what he said in his, ah, let me get the exact quote because it – he says essentially this stuff came about, quote, "Because you put it in, not because it was accurate, you wanted to make the book interesting."

MAYHEW:

Read me what he says.

COLODNY:

Na- all right hold on, let me get the verbatim on this would ya?

MAYHEW:

Hmm-mm.

COLODNY:

[PAUSE] Ah, I was pointing out to him the contradictions ...

MAYHEW:

Yeah, okay.

COLODNY:

... and I said to him, "Look, let me give you an example, in your testimony to the committee, let's just take two issues, one was Larry O'Brien, to which you passed over as a peripheral issue to your office. Literally, you said we just didn't have any thing to do with it."

MAYHEW:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

"But in your book you tell a different story."

MAYHEW:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

All right and that's how we got, you know, that's how we got to where we got. Then he came back and he said, quote, ah, something about not wanting to go through – oh, I'll read you the whole verbatim, "I did and let me tell you what, I can go through the process for you what happened is the editors got real excited and wanted to make it more interesting and that's why all that shit got in there." So in other words he's saying that -it's a bunch of shit and you all put it in.

MAYHEW:

No, well, he doesn't say we put it in, he says that we encouraged him to - to put it in.

COLODNY:

Well, then he went on to say the testimony -quote, "The testimony is what I'm going to stand on, meaning that I had nothing to do with it."

MAYHEW:

Hmm-mm.

COLODNY:

"And you're asking me to go through a lot of labor And anyway I never actually, ah, went back and re­ read my testimony when I was writing the book," which I found strange in light of the author's note which says that's exactly what he did.

MAYHEW:

Yes, and also how does he -what is he saying, we told him to put it ah, if he didn't go back and read that there was any contradiction between what he was putting in and what the -testimony said?

COLODNY:

I - I agree with you, this is -this is what's baffling about it, when I hit him with this contradiction the answer was, "I'm still standing by the fact that I had nothing to do with O'Brien ...

MAYHEW:

Right.

COLODNY:

... it was only put in because the editors thought it would be intriguing .. ."

MAYHEW:

Well ...

COLODNY:

But, frankly, I've gotta be honest with you, I went in and researched the -the internal memos, inside the White House, at the Archives.

MAYHEW:

Hmm-mm.

COLODNY:

And he clearly is involved, he's involved with it from day one ...

MAYHEW:

Yeah.

COLODNY:

... 'til [April 8th?] ...

MAYHEW:

[INAUDIBLE]

COLODNY:

... I'm not - I'm not criticizing what's in the book.

MAYHEW:

No, I understand that – if you want my opinion on that -what I think is that what I said first, that he was being evasive in his testimony and apparently it suits him to be evasive now.

COLODNY:

Well, there's nothing evasive about saying it's not true.

MAYHEW:

Well, I-but he was lying.

COLODNY:

I th- that's -that's another wo-

MAYHEW:

Do you want me to put it in Anglo Saxon words, and you can say that I was the editor and, um ...

COLODNY:

I know, that's why I came -don't you - I wanted to be fair this is a difficult enough book to write and you don't nor -

MAYHEW:

Right, well I never told John Dean what to put in his book, and, ah, that's a lie, L-I-E, that is spelled, L-I-E.

COLODNY:

I - I take your word Alice if you say that. [LAUGH]

MAYHEW:

And Taylor Branch who wrote the book, ah, would not a-who just won a Pulitzer prize for his biography of ...

COLODNY:

Yeah, I know, I'm aware of it, do you ...

MAYHEW:

... ah, would never have been party to -and if John Dean wants to say that Alice Mayhew and Taylor Branch, ah, are parties to such dishonest behavior ...

COLODNY:

Well, he's got serious problems when he –he and I ...

MAYHEW:

He's got serious problems period.

COLODNY:

... I know, he and I - I know you never published again, another John Dean book.

MAYHEW:

No

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