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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Mark Felt

Aired April 25, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, exclusive: In his first and only TV interview since being revealed as Deep Throat, former FBI official Mark Felt. The once-secret source who played a key part in unraveling the Watergate scandal and ending the Nixon presidency, Deep Throat himself. Mark Felt finally speaks. Insights into a man who helped change American history, but hid his identity for more than 30 years.
That's next, exclusive, on LARRY KING LIVE.

Thanks for joining us. Tonight, an interview I thought I'd never get a chance to do. With me here in Los Angeles, Mark Felt's daughter Joan. With her is John O'Connor, Felt family attorney and adviser, and co-author of "A G-Man's Life: The FBI, Being Deep Throat and the Struggle for Honor in Washington." In Washington, Pulitzer Prize- winning journalist and "New York Times" best-selling author Bob Woodward of "The Washington Post." He wrote about his personal and professional relationship with Mark Felt in "The Secret Man." In New York, Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Bernstein, now a contributing editor for "Vanity Fair." He and Woodward broke the Watergate story and kept Mark Felt's identity secret. And back in D.C., Ben Bradlee, the famed "Washington Post" vice president at-large. He was "The Post's" executive editor during the Watergate era.

But before we talk with them, we hear exclusively from Mark Felt. I sat down with him recently at his daughter's home in Santa Rosa, California. Now, Felt is 92. His health and memory are failing, but to see and hear him is to get a unique sense of the man behind the mystery of Deep Throat.


KING: Do you feel 92 years old?

MARK FELT, KEY SECRET SOURCE IN WATERGATE SCANDAL: Sometimes I do. Most of the time, I don't.

KING: What about all this attention that occurred? You had to know it would happen, didn't you?

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: Were you surprised?

M. FELT: Well, I was -- I was surprised in how effective the program was, but I wasn't surprised in the fact that it had to be done. KING: Were you surprised that it was a secret for so long?

M. FELT: Yes, I guess I was.

KING: Did you like being called Deep Throat?

M. FELT: Well, yes. In some ways, I do. I'm proud of everything Deep Throat did. Yes, I like being related to him.

KING: So you have no questions of yourself as to why you did it?

M. FELT: No. No.

KING: Because there were some who said that you were kind of like a traitor to the cause. There were a few -- certainly on the Republican right side, complained that you were turning the tide on your boss.

M. FELT: That sounds like Republican approach.

KING: Why did you do it?

M. FELT: I don't remember doing that. I mean, I tried to go along with whatever I thought was correct and 100 percent accurate, but if that happened to bring somebody in on the side, that was just the effects of the facts.

KING: Why did you decide to help Woodward? Why did you decide to do what you did?

M. FELT: Because he was doing a good job.

KING: No other reason?

M. FELT: No other reasons.

KING: You felt that he was doing what he had to do and you would support him.

M. FELT: Right.

KING: What about all those meetings that you'd have in secret places?

M. FELT: Well, that's what being secret is all about, to have secret meetings. It is just unavoidable.

KING: Did you know he would bring down a presidency?

M. FELT: No. No, I didn't know that. No. I would have disapproved of anything that he did along that line.

KING: So were you sad when Nixon quit?

M. FELT: No. I wasn't sad. I just realized he had to do it. KING: Those who say that you wanted to be a bigger job, that you wanted to be director of the FBI, and that when you didn't get that job, that's why you turned.

M. FELT: No. No. No. That's just some ambitious thinking that isn't accurate at all. No, I was trying to do the maximum effect I could and keep the bureau on the proper course.

KING: When you -- did you ever, during all this time, were you ever tempted to tell anyone?

M. FELT: No.

KING: Never?

M. FELT: Never.

KING: Did your family know?

M. FELT: No. They didn't know either.

KING: Your daughter didn't know?

M. FELT: No.

KING: How did you do that?

M. FELT: Just maneuvered around and about.

KING: What about when you would read in the papers, this person's Deep Throat or that person's Deep Throat or...?

M. FELT: I'd clip it and put it in a book.

KING: You saved items?

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: About who Deep Throat might be?

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: Why did you come out?

M. FELT: Well, because with politics moving the way they did, I had no choice, really, but to come out and put everything on the line, both plus and minus on the line.

KING: Do you think you upset Mr. Woodward?

M. FELT: Well, maybe a little. A little, but I think he understood. When it was all laid out on the table in front of him, he understood.

KING: Because he always said, you know, they'd never reveal it until Deep Throat passed away. And obviously, you didn't pass away. M. FELT: No. I hope I haven't.

KING: But you felt the need to come forward.

M. FELT: To a certain extent, yes.

KING: Did Mr. -- did Bob Woodward call you after this?

M. FELT: Yes, on a couple of occasions.

KING: What did he say?

M. FELT: He just said, "hang in there."

KING: He was not angry or disappointed?

M. FELT: I don't think he was angry. And I don't think he was disappointed. I think that's what he expected.

KING: Because Ben Bradlee said to him, you know, this is the right story. You've got to agree with it. They've got -- they've got the man.


KING: Joan Felt, his daughter. He says he was proud to be related to him. Was that just the misuse of words when he said related to Deep Throat?

JOAN FELT, DAUGHTER: Yes, but as you know, he's always said that Deep Throat is a personality that was created by Bob Woodward, a name that was created. He likes to say that he's the person that they called Deep Throat.

KING: So -- but he looked at it kind of in the third person.

J. FELT: Uh-huh.

KING: Was he cogent in writing the book with you? Because he certainly has slowed down a great deal.

JOHN O'CONNOR, ATTORNEY FOR MARK FELT: Oh, sure he has, Larry. As you know, what he remembers today -- I've never made any bones about it -- he doesn't have any memory of details. He's got the aging process going for him and...

KING: So how did you put the book together?

O'CONNOR: Well, I know his attitudes, all right? I know the attitudes. We had 500 pages of writings of Mark.


O'CONNOR: Plus, we had -- some of which had been published, some which hadn't. Plus, we had notes on his life that he had done in the '80s. We had diaries. We had his genealogies. And so we put it all together, and then I did research on FBI files.

KING: How did you find out he was Deep Throat, Joan?

J. FELT: Well, I just want to say one other thing, though, about his being cogent. Which is, I think you can even see on this tape that he, in the core of his being, his -- the qualities of the -- heroic qualities that he animated back in 1972, they're still intact.

KING: How did you find out?

J. FELT: Well, we went through a process of finding out. First, John came and talked to him.

KING: Did you have any thought that he might have been?

J. FELT: After John came, I sure did. Yeah. And after I figured out who Bob was. Bob came and visited. And I was so politically naive that I didn't even know that Bob Woodward was the key figure in the -- in the Watergate, you know, in the situation with my dad.

KING: We'll get Woodward and Bernstein's thoughts and Ben Bradlee's. We will continue more with Mark Felt as well on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Despite the growing clamor, the president is not swayed.

RICHARD NIXON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have no intention whatever of walking away from the job I was elected to do.

I had no prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in. I neither took part in nor knew about any of the subsequent cover-up activities.



KING: We're back with more of my one-on-one conversation with Mark Felt, Watergate's Deep Throat. Felt joined the FBI in 1942 and eventually became the No. 2 man in the bureau.


KING: You've had a long and distinguished career, great career in the FBI, you write about in the book, et cetera. You were a G man's G man.

M. FELT: Thank you.

KING: You were an FBI guy, yet are you sad over the fact that most people or all people are going remember you as Deep Throat?

M. FELT: No. No, I'm not because Deep Throat didn't do anything that was wrong. He was in the background trying to help, and that's what I was doing -- trying to help.

KING: So the fact that that outweighs your career in the FBI doesn't bother you?

M. FELT: No. No. I don't think it does outweigh my career.

KING: Do you think of yourself as a hero?

M. FELT: No. I've never thought about it except you're bringing it up a little bit now.

KING: Well, what do you think?

M. FELT: Well I think somebody had to work on the inside. They had to be honest and they had to be reliable and if I could do that and fit into that category, that was fine. That's what I wanted.

KING: Did you see the movie?

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: Did you read the book?

M. FELT: No, I haven't read the book yet.

KING: In the movie they have the guy playing you Hal Holbrook, great actor, follow the money. Did you ever say that?

M. FELT: No. I don't recall ever saying that.

KING: How did you know all of the things you knew?

M. FELT: Well, I was focusing on the paperwork and the more work that came to me just on an over-the-counter basis. So I was familiar with it all.

KING: So you see yourself as just doing what any good person would do?

M. FELT: Yes, yes.

KING: Some people have said that you were kind of like a lone ranger during the scandal, a law enforcement officer acting alone.

M. FELT: Well that's a compliment in a way, but it's true. I was acting alone, pretty much.

KING: Do you think that should have been the duty of any person in your place?

M. FELT: Yes, I think so.

KING: Any agent? Any assistant director having that job should have done what you did?

M. FELT: Should have done what I've done, yes. KING: Do you still -- you take great pride in having been with the bureau, right?

M. FELT: Oh, my goodness, yes.

KING: Why?

M. FELT: Well, because you contributed so much to the community. It was a tremendous contribution to the community, to be funneling things through the FBI channels. So it helped. We helped the country very much and it made it worthwhile.

KING: Loyalty is very important to you, right?

M. FELT: Oh, my goodness, yes.

KING: You were very loyal to the bureau.

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: Now was there was a question of loyalty over the Watergate thing? Did you ever say to yourself, "Am I being disloyal?"

M. FELT: I didn't ever say that to myself about Deep Throat.

KING: Right.

M. FELT: I didn't -- it never occurred to me to say it.

KING: You thought you were doing the right thing?

M. FELT: I thought I was doing the right thing, yes.

KING: Did you have any grudge against Nixon?

M. FELT: No, never.

KING: I think someone said you wanted him to appoint you as director to the FBI and when you didn't get the job you took it out on him.

M. FELT: That was all speculation on somebody's part. I didn't have that feeling at all.

KING: How do you look back at this presidency?

M. FELT: I think he did a good job.

KING: You do?

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: What went wrong, though? Watergate went wrong.

M. FELT: Well, that's a pretty big job to have nothing go wrong, I think there were minor problems and some major problems, but they weren't Nixon's fault. Not those, anyway.

KING: So on balance you think it was more the people under him?

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: You told people that keeping the justice system pure, to prevent the FBI from being politically corrupted was what motivated you most. Did you think the bureau was in danger of being corrupted?

M. FELT: Well I considered that possibility yes. I wasn't really worried about it, but I knew that that was a potential wrongdoing that could lead to a lot of trouble. So I was very careful to steer around and away from it.


KING: What Mark Felt had, by the way -- has, is vascular dementia. It's called old age and if we live that long, we're all going get it. Bob Woodward, what's your reaction to seeing him like this?

BOB WOODWARD, WASHINGTON POST: Well it's clearly a different phase of his life. When I saw him six years ago, I saw the same indicators that he didn't have the kind of specific memory and, you know, that's evident from your discussion with him.

I think of him -- I was just saying to Ben Bradlee here that he was one tough SOB. He was somebody who really wouldn't answer a lot of questions, gave us some information, some hints, laid out a blueprint, was vital to the coverage.

But he was in control and, you know, now in this phase of his life, he's not. I also think of him, you know, he's the guy who told the truth and all of the discussion about whether he should or whether he shouldn't, he told the truth and that's not a bad starting point for any of us.

KING: Carl, is he a hero?

CARL BERNSTEIN, FORMER WASHINGTON POST REPORTER: I certainly salute him. He said an amazing thing there. He said it had to be somebody honest on the inside and be reliable. I salute him for that. I think that he did a great thing under difficult circumstances and I wish at a time of another aberrant presidency we had more people with his values, as he expressed them during Watergate today.

KING: Ben Bradlee, how did you view him? Did you know who he was all along?

BEN BRADLEE, VICE PRESIDENT AT LARGE, WASHINGTON POST: Not all along. I forgot when it was, but it was shortly after the president left office. I got the sense that it might be some campaign building up to discredit Bob's and Carl's source. And I thought that maybe I could help and so I -- we went down to the park, sat down and I told him that I felt I had to know and he told me.

KING: Is he a hero to you?

BRADLEE: Oh, boy, yes, he is. And my reaction at seeing this is one of sadness. I mean, especially with -- I believe, Bob, that he was one tough SOB. And that makes me feel good about the FBI and about him. But he isn't now and he's sort of sad and I found myself holding my breath hoping he wouldn't screw up and do something that would change his image.

KING: We'll take a break and be right back. There's two more major segments with Mark Felt and then our panel will be with us the rest of the way. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a cancer growing on the presidency, and if the cancer was not removed, the president himself would be killed by it. I also told him that it was important that this cancer be removed immediately because it was growing more deadly every day.

NIXON: But I welcome this kind of examination because people have got to know whether or not their president's a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I have earned everything I've got.



KING: More now on my conversation with Watergate's Deep Throat, former FBI official Mark Felt. I sat down with him recently at his daughter's home in Santa Rosa at 92 and at failing health. There are remarkable things about his life and the Watergate scandals that he no longer recalls, but he doesn't hesitate to admit that.


KING: Where were you when Nixon resigned?

M. FELT: I don't remember where I was. I guess I was in California.

KING: I'm going to mention some names and you tell me what you think of them, OK?


KING: J. Edgar Hoover.

M. FELT: A real fine man and a real wonderful government employee.

KING: He is being rapped around now.

M. FELT: He's being rapped around now, right.

KING: You but you regard him well?

M. FELT: I regard him well, yes.

KING: Bob Woodward.

M. FELT: He was a young fellow doing his job and trying to do the best he could and I think he did a good job.

KING: He met you, he was a young man, right?

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: He was in the Navy.

M. FELT: I think so, yes.

KING: Do you regard The Washington Post in high esteem?

M. FELT: Yes, I do. Compared to all other newspapers very high, indeed.

KING: Ronald Reagan.

M. FELT: Good president. Yes, a good president.

KING: You had your own legal troubles in the '70s resulting from the black bag jobs carried out by the FBI. You and others were charged with conspiring to violate the Constitutional rights of American citizens by having homes searched without warrants. When the case went to trial President Nixon, former President Nixon testified as a defense rebuttal witness and contributed to your defense fund.

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: There's a little irony there.

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: Was that a bad rap?

M. FELT: On me, you mean?

KING: Yes.

M. FELT: Yes, it was a bad rap.

KING: You were convicted, but Reagan pardoned you.

M. FELT: Right.

KING: Did you expect that pardon?

M. FELT: Yes, I expected it. And if he hadn't come through with it, I would have found some way of pressuring him into it.

KING: Your wife Audrey died in 1984, right?

M. FELT: I think that was the date, yes. KING: Did she know you were Deep Throat?

M. FELT: Yes, I knew think she did.

KING: Did you ever tell her?

M. FELT: I don't think I ever told her. No.

KING: How would she have known? Guessed it?

M. FELT: Seen all of the paperwork that I was handling.

KING: That's right. You were around things because you were married during that time.

M. FELT: Right.

KING: Did you meet in garages?

M. FELT: Sometimes, yes. Sometimes.

KING: Would you pick the meeting place?

M. FELT: Mostly I would, yes.

KING: Did you like the way they portrayed you in the film?

M. FELT: Yes. Yes. I thought it was OK.

KING: Did you -- I mean like meeting in dark shadows and not coming public much, and you would be behind a dark place and Woodward would be in a public place.

M. FELT: I saw nothing wrong with that.

KING: How do you want to be remembered?

M. FELT: I would like to be remembered as a government employee who did his best to help everybody. I would like a reputation of trying to help people.

KING: Why did you become an FBI agent?

M. FELT: Really because I think in the background I saw the possibility not necessarily of becoming president or anything, but the possibility of helping the FBI along the way overcome obstacles, problems with the definition of words and that sort of thing. So I thought I could help.

KING: So you are proud you were an agent?

M. FELT: Oh, yes, I am. Very much.

KING: No qualms about Deep Throat?

M. FELT: Not really, no. For you on the table, I'll say yes, but for the public view of it and everything, I would have to avoid that question.

KING: But you've got no qualms?

M. FELT: No.


KING: Joan Felt, you don't feel sad about your father as Ben Bradlee said he feels sad.

J. FELT: Not at all. We in the family, we are so proud of my dad and, you know, I don't feel it's fair to hold him up to the same standard of intellectual acumen.

KING: I don't think he was doing that. It's sad to see someone later in life lose faculties.

J. FELT: And we do. We all do.

KING: We all do if we make it.

J. FELT: There's gradual diminishment and then there's death. But what we rejoice in my family is being able to cherish these years with my dad, and to enjoy the qualities that he has that are still so courageous, so humorous, such good cheer. He's an inspiration to all of us.

KING: John you wrote the book with him. You said you knew he was Deep Throat.

O'CONNOR: Yes. I knew from the late '70s. It seemed pretty obvious if you just followed the clues. Yes. Bob laid it all out in there. You know, there were only eight people that knew about the Kissinger wiretaps. It's right there. There are 20 places I could show you.

KING: You mean journalism did not do its job? They should have found out.

O'CONNOR: It must have. A lot of other people couldn't figure it out or figure it out with certainty. Maybe it worked, I just don't think in fact his identity was protected and there are people that tried to prosecute Mark and put him in criminal jeopardy because the book really did point to him as Deep Throat.

KING: We'll take a break and come back. One more segment with Mark and then our panel gets into a full-fledged discussion about it all. Don't go away.


NIXON: America needs a full-time president and a full-time Congress. Therefore, I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.

Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them.



KING: We're back with the rest of my conversation with Mark Felt. This is the only interview he's given since he and his family publicly confirmed that he was Bob Woodward's Watergate source, Deep Throat. It was a secret this former FBI official and a few select people from "The Post" kept for more than three decades. The new book is "A G-Man's Life." Watch more.


KING: Did you ever have to kill anyone?

M. FELT: No.

KING: Arrest a few people, though?

M. FELT: Quite a few, yes. Quite a few.

KING: Were you ever in fear for your life?

M. FELT: You mean in a difficult situation?

KING: Yeah.

M. FELT: Well, I was very careful, yes. In fear of what could happen if it went wrong. Oh, yes. I was not fearful, but careful.

KING: Over Watergate, were you ever concerned that you would be caught, for want of a better term, that you'd be found out?

M. FELT: Be found out in what way?

KING: By the press, by...

M. FELT: I know, but found out in what way? As exposing the president?

KING: Yeah.

M. FELT: No. I never had that thought.

KING: Did you always trust Bob Woodward?

M. FELT: Pretty much so, yes. Pretty much.

KING: You never feared that he would reveal your name at a time that might have been...

M. FELT: I didn't have that fear, no.

KING: ... might have been harmful to you?

M. FELT: Yes, it would have been.

KING: What is your life like now?

M. FELT: Oh, it's very pleasant. Very pleasant. I'm living with my daughter. I'm living here in Santa Rosa, which is a real nice, modern town. No, I'm enjoying life.

KING: How's your health?

M. FELT: Pretty good, considering my age.

KING: Why did you write the book?

M. FELT: It was a challenge of getting things on the record that were in favor of the bureau, helpful to the bureau, so I wanted to bring out that side of the picture.

KING: Why did the bureau in recent years, in your opinion, get a bad name?

M. FELT: Well, because there were so many people manipulating in the background. Many of the things that were manipulated were not favorable to the bureau, but they might have gone back to the bureau as bureau credit. So things -- it was just very, very difficult to deal with in the later years.

KING: But it started to get a bad name under Nixon, right? When Nixon used it.

M. FELT: To a very minor degree, yes.

KING: Because he certainly did use the bureau.

M. FELT: Nixon? Well, yes. I think he did, when it was to his benefit.

KING: Did you know Hoover personally?

M. FELT: Yes. Yes.

KING: And you liked him very much.

M. FELT: I liked him very much.

KING: So "A G-Man's Life" is coming out. It's written with John O'Connor. The whole story of Mark Felt is known.

M. FELT: That's right.

KING: Deep Throat will be forever embellished in our minds, and you are a now famous character of the 20th and early 21st centuries.

M. FELT: I'll accept it.

KING: You do not feel bad about it.

M. FELT: I don't feel bad about it.

KING: You changed the country.

M. FELT: Yes, I think we did a little.

KING: Are you proud of that?

M. FELT: I'm proud of it.

KING: Thank you, Mark.


KING: Bob, did you have -- Bob Woodward, did you have a solid agreement with him that you would never reveal his name and he would never say it was him?

WOODWARD: Well, no. I mean, it was always up to him. If he was going come forward, that would have been great. In fact, when Carl Bernstein and I did the book, "All the President's Men," I called him up and asked him if I could identify him. And it was like a shotgun over the phone, him saying essentially, are you totally out of your mind? And that was a no. I even realized that. And, so, but we had quoted him, you know, as one source said, a couple of times in articles in "The Post." And in writing "All the President's Men," we wanted to do the fullest accounting of what the journalism was like, so including the meetings and discussions with him was part of that. And so we put it in. And then when the book came out, he -- I spoke with him again, and he hung up. He was really angry. And I can vividly still recall that, you know, bang and the dial tone. He was not delighted. Reasonably so.

KING: Carl, what manner of man is this? Where does this come from?

BERNSTEIN: I don't know him. I think the great test of a person is what they do when something is thrown at them that they don't expect, and how they handle it when the stakes are big. And he did a great thing.

One thing that's clear, as Bob said, is that he controlled this situation. There's a lot of mythology about leaking. He didn't leak. You know, he had to really be squeezed. And Woodward and myself -- myself through Woodward, we didn't get nearly what we had hoped for. He confirmed mostly what we had gotten elsewhere. He didn't want to volunteer a lot of information. And yet his role was essential in giving us this solidity and a knowledge that what we were reporting was right.

KING: Ben, did you ever question the validity of Deep Throat, of the -- of your Woodward, your Bernstein? Did you ever have doubts?

BRADLEE: Well, there were 400 Watergate stories. Of course I had -- I worried about, were they right? But, you know, as a track record of accurate reporting, that will never be equaled. We made -- they made one mistake, and it was a dinky (ph) mistake, which was corrected in 48 hours, and as a matter of fact the truth was more damaging to them. I don't want to go into it. We've been into it plenty of times. It was whether someone had testified to the grand jury that there was a slush fund in the White House.

Well, he had told the feds that there was such a slush fund, but he didn't testify to a grand jury. It turned out that the slush fund was even larger -- so as a -- Deep Throat's record with me was fantastic, boy. I mean, he could haven't been more right.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more. Don't go away.


KING: Is it hard to come back to this city? Is it hard to drive by the Watergate?

NIXON: Well, I've never been in the Watergate. So it's not a hard thing...

KING: Never been in it?

NIXON: No, no, other people were in there, though, unfortunately.

KING: Was it hard for you?

NIXON: No. I don't live in the past. I like to think about the future. You use the past only to the extent that it points the way to the future.



KING: As Joan Felt just pointed out, not only is this exclusive to have Mark Felt on, but to have Felt, Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee all on together. I feel like I'm in the back room in a cellar somewhere of "The Washington Post."

Joining us now is Nick Jones, he is Mark Felt's grandson, Joan Felt's son. All this happened before you were born.


KING: How do you react to all this about your grandfather?

JONES: Well, it's incredible. It's a big deal, but most of all I'm honored to be his grandson. I think what he did was tremendous. It demanded a lot of courage and so, it's interesting to me, to say the least, but like you said I wasn't alive when it happened, so...

KING: Are you close to him?

JONES: Yes, very close, very close, I am.

KING: You're in law school? JONES: I am, I am.

KING: Bob, were you at all bugged by the fact that it came out?

WOODWARD: Well, we were concerned and this was just a year ago when Mark and the family and John O'Connor decided to reveal it. But under the wise counsel of editor Bradlee here, he said, "You know, look, they've got it." The lawyer and the family and Mark Felt had made this decision so we confirmed it and...

BERNSTEIN: Well, we resisted pretty hard for about eight hours, but we were outvoted.

WOODWARD: Wasn't quite eight hours.

BERNSTEIN: No, it wasn't that long.

WOODWARD: No, but it wasn't Ben on his knees saying just do it. It was Ben saying, "Look, the logic is here." And quite frankly as I look back on it, I think Carl would agree. I think it's a good thing. People can see who he is. He has his dignity, you know. We now know what happened. There isn't going to be a Grassy Knoll theory about all of this, and I think that's good.

KING: Joan, are you glad, Joan, that he was Deep Throat? Are you glad of all this?

J. FELT: Glad that he was Deep Throat?

KING: Uh huh.

J. FELT: Oh, I am, yes.

KING: Did it ever bother you?

J. FELT: No, I was thrilled when I found out.

KING: Happy to come forward with it, that scene at the house. People pulling up and the press.

J. FELT: It's been so good for my dad. He's having such a good time and I feel like for the first time in his life he's free to be completely himself.

KING: Carl, do you think this might inspire others in key posts to come forward when they see wrongdoing or to assist those in trying to find wrongdoers?

BERNSTEIN: I sure hope so. You know, there's a great dignity that comes through that interview, whatever Mr. Felt's difficulties with memory are, you still see this rather remarkable dignity and bearing.

And as I said earlier, you know, we are in a period now where again we have a presidency where we don't know from the people around the president what's really happening. We don't know what the policies of this presidency are. We're in a war and it looks to be in the wrong country.

KING: Well, we're going to do...

BERNSTEIN: The more people that help reporters in this aberrant situation as Watergate was aberrant, the better.

KING: We're going do a lot of shows on that coming up, which Mr. Bernstein will be a part. By the way, he has a compelling article posted on the Web at titled "Senate Hearings on Bush Now."

We'll be right back with our panel. Before we go to Anderson Cooper for a preview of tonight's "A.C. 360," some breaking news out of the White House, rather -- summoned to baseball. CNN has confirmed that Tony Snow will be the new White House press secretary. Sources tell CNN that Snow has formally accepted the position and an announcement planned at the White House tomorrow. Anderson, what's going on tonight?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Larry, we'll have more on of course, Tony Snow's announcement coming up on "360."

Also a major story today, evil shows his face in Iraq. For the first time ever, there he is, terror mastermind, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has taken off his mask, stepped out of hiding. The man who has the blood of Americans on his own hands has made a videotape of himself, posted it online. We'll tell you what he says and why he's made this dramatic tape and why now. We'll also take you back to his hometown and give you a rare look at where this killer comes from.

Also ahead on "360," the priest on trial for killing a nun. We'll take you inside the court where the trial is underway. The prosecution says the nun's murder was part of a ritual sacrifice. There were candles around her body, stab wounds in the shape of a cross. Dramatic details that stunned the courtroom. We'll have all that and more at the top of the hour.

KING: Thanks, Anderson Cooper at the top of the hour. We'll be back with more and we'll discuss the legacy of Mark Felt with our panel right after this.



HAL HOLBROOK, ACTOR: You follow the money.



KING: Did you see the movie?

M. FELT: Yes.

KING: Did you read the book? M. FELT: No, I haven't read the book yet.

KING: In the movie they have the guy playing you, Hal Holbrook, great actor.


HOLBROOK: Just follow the money.


KING: Follow the money. Did you ever say that?

M. FELT: No. I don't recall ever saying that.


KING: That's funny. But literary license. It wasn't in your book, was it, Bob?

WOODWARD: It was not in "All the President's Men." It was something a screenwriter put in. It summarized what he was saying more effectively than it was said at the time, but it, you know, it's a headline and if you look at the reporting, what we were doing is precisely that, following the money.

KING: True.

WOODWARD: And the slush fund.

KING: Joan, he kept from you. He was good at keeping secrets about your mother's death.

KING: She had taken her own life and he told you otherwise.

J. FELT: He told me she died of heart failure.

KING: How did you find out?

J. FELT: My bother told me three years ago.

KING: Did you ask your father why he didn't tell you?

J. FELT: I did. By that point he couldn't remember.

KING: What's his legacy, John?

O'CONNOR: I'd say there are two, Larry. One is, from my point of view, and I'm an ex-prosecutor, it's the incorruptibility of the justice system, in bars, in barbershops and kitchens, how many times have we heard the cover-up's worse than the crime because that's because everyone knows that this system works.

If there will be bad guys at Enron or name the place, the system will get them. The second legacy is that the great work of bob and Carl here and, of course, the courage of Ben Bradlee who was really the courageous guy with this television station licenses possibly being yanked ushered in a new era of journalism and mostly to the good. There are bad hits every now and then, but I think a whole generation ...

KING: He changed this?

O'CONNOR: What? He changed the whole culture and made us more open.

KING: What do you think, Nick, his legacy is?

JONES: Well, I think his legacy is to be as fundamental and as basic as I can, I think it's just to stand up for the truth in every situation. Is to always tell the truth, defend that and live by that.

KING: We'll take a break and when we come back we'll get the thoughts of Ben Bradlee and Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. Mark Felt is going to go down in history. Right after this.


KING: We're back. Ben Bradlee, how's he going to be remembered?

BRADLEE: He's going to be remembered as the man who made the truth emerge, and that's the joy of civilization now. The truth emerges and it's going to emerge because of people like him.

KING: Carl?

BERNSTEIN: Bradley said it pretty good, again. But it's also about Felt's craft. You really see and appreciate his craft and also part of the legacy is about the value of a truly free and independent press, that when the system isn't working this very courage-filled man, this very crafty man came to the one place, it doesn't matter if you're a Republican or Democrat, liberal, conservative, the press is there when the system is being shut down.

KING: Bob Woodward?

WOODWARD: Carl ought to run his e-mail address under there for anyone in the Bush administration who wants to move the flower pot and come to the underground garage.

There are a lot of people in the FBI who were critical of Mark Felt, and I think I'd just like to take a moment and talk to them because I've heard from a number of them. Go to the seat that Mark Felt had at the moment of Watergate. Hoover just died. Nixon was putting tremendous political pressure on the bureau. There was evidence of concealment and cover-up and criminality, all of the tentacles of Watergate.

Felt saw those, the attorney general, former attorney general, the White House counsel, as we now know the president himself, all the key people in the White House, quite frankly, were involved in a criminal conspiracy. What do you do? Do you sit there on your ass and do nothing? A lot of people would say, well, yes, those are the rules. Well sometimes you have to break the rules and this is somebody who was willing to step over the line and I think, given his training and position in the bureau and being there so many years, probably one of the hardest things a human being ever did, but he did it.

KING: Yes. Well said. A beautiful man. You ought to be proud to be his friend, John to have worked on this book with him.

O'CONNOR: This has been a tonic for him. He's a very happy man now. Maybe I think I've helped do something good for the family.

KING: The book is "A G Man's Life." Mark Felt with John O'Connor. How proud you must be, Joan.

J. FELT: As I said, we are.

KING: His health is OK? He had a little pneumonia right?

J. FELT: Yes, he's doing better today. Dad, so glad you're out there watching and feeling better.

KING: And Nick, how proud you must be of a grand dad like this.

JONES: Very. Very. Such a good man. Such a cool guy and I love him.

KING: We thank you all. We thank you for making Mark available for this exclusive interview. It will be part of history. Mark Felt earlier and then Joan Felt, Nick Jones, John O'Connor, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and Ben Bradlee. The book is "A G Man's Life," Mark Felt and John O'Connor, subtitle is, "The FBI, Being Deep Throat and the Struggle for Honor in Washington."

A couple of notes, there's a major movie opening this Friday. A lot of people are disturbed about it. A lot of people are praising it. It's "United 93" and we will do a major show on it this Friday night. It will open Friday. We'll do a major program on it with people from the film and relatives of those who died on United 93 on 9/11.

Tomorrow night, former president Jimmy Carter will be with us. Plus, Jenny Stepanek. She's the mother of the late little Matty Stepanek, who we all loved so much. Matty was an angel child who died at age 14 of muscular dystrophy. And Jimmy Carter and Jenny Stepanek will be with us tomorrow. That's it for tonight's edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Anderson Cooper is next to host "AC 360" with a lot of news tonight -- Anderson.