The Press: A Flat-Out Lie

During his long week before the Ervin committee, John Dean made frequent reference to a TIME story last spring that provoked White House consternation. The background: On Feb. 22 Correspondent Sandy Smith filed an exclusive report stating that three years earlier Attorney General John Mitchell had authorized FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to place taps on the phones of a number of Washington newsmen. Two days later, Smith discovered that phones of a number of White House staffers had also been bugged, apparently in an Administration effort to trace leaks to reporters.


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