PRAGUE -- The newly appointed U.S. envoy to the Czech Republic has rejected a Newsweek report alleging that he "beat" and "kidnapped" a woman as part of the cover-up of the 1972 Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
In an exclusive interview with Current Time TV on December 13, Ambassador Stephen King said "much if not most all of the facts as reported in that Newsweek article are false."
King did not specify what parts of the Newsweek report were "false" in his interview with Current Time, the Russian-language network run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA.
Newsweek’s December 11 article quoted "several accounts over the years" suggesting that 76-year-old King had dealt violently with Martha Mitchell, "the talkative wife of Nixon's campaign director and former attorney general John Mitchell" in order to end a telephone interview she was giving to UPI reporter Helen Thomas about Nixon’s campaign arm, the Committee to Reelect the President.
Newsweek described King as a former FBI agent in 1972 who was working as a security aide for the committee -- which was involved in the Watergate cover-up.
"I was there when this matter occurred in California," King said. "But I have chosen -- then and now -- not to really speak to it specifically only out of respect to the Mitchell family, those that survive today."
"The [article] chose at least to address the fact that in my Senate confirmation, the Senate minority staff talked to me at some length about this and they were satisfied that there was nothing there that was of concern to at least the minority side of the Senate to prevent my being appointed and confirmed as ambassador," King told Current Time.