On This Day: President Nixon Declares 'I'm Not a Crook'


Forty-four years ago today President Richard Nixon made the infamous declaration "I'm not a crook" in response to the ever-growing Watergate scandal.

"I have earned every cent. And in all of my years of public life I have never obstructed justice," Nixon said at an Orlando press conference, according to The Washington Post archives. "People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got."

Nixon acknowledged that he had "made a mistake" by not keeping closer tabs on his campaign's activities.

The Q&A session came more than a year after the break-in at Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., where a team of CIA-affiliated operatives were caught attempting to plant listening devices. Over the next two years, reporters, led by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, would trace the crime to a litany of wrongdoing by people working for Nixon's re-election campaign, and would eventually implicate Nixon himself in the cover-up.

Nixon would resign from office on Aug. 8, 1974.

Click here to see The Washington Post's Watergate retrospective and watch an archive video of the 1973 press conference below, courtesy of ABC News.

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