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Democratic Party Chairman Says He Can’t ‘believe’ Israeli Envoy Involved Self in Election Campaign

June 13, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Lawrence O’Brien, National Chairman of the Democratic Party, said yesterday that he could not “believe” that the Ambassador of Israel would “become directly involved” in the American Presidential elections. O’Brien, appearing on the ABC television program “Issues and Answers,” made the remark in response to a question on yesterday’s story In the Washington Post which claimed that Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin had indicated preference for President Nixon in a recent interview on the Israeli State Radio.

Ambassador Rabin repudiated the story yesterday and said his interview had been “misquoted” and taken “out of context” by the Washington Post correspondent, Yuval Elizur, in Jerusalem.

The question to O’Brien and his reply came in the closing minutes of the program. ABC Capitol Hill correspondent Sam Donaldson observed that the Israeli Ambassador “suggested yesterday that President Nixon has been a good friend of Israel, that Israel, should remember those deeds, not the word of the opposition” and asked O’Brien, “What is your reaction?”

O’Brien replied, “You’re asking for a quick reaction, I can’t believe that an Ambassador representing a foreign power would become directly involved in a Presidential election in any way.” Asked by Donaldson, “Do you think that was what he was attempting to do?” the Democratic Chairman said he did not know the text of the comments, “but off the top of my head let me just suggest that I can’t believe there would be that kind of involvement in a campaign in this country.”

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