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Diane Sawyer Denies Rabbi’s Claim She Was Watergate’s ‘Deep Throat’

June 27, 1995 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Diane Sawyer denied a rabbi’s claim that she was the ``Deep Throat″ source who helped The Washington Post uncover the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon.

And Bob Woodward, the Post reporter who has never revealed the identity of his source, said Rabbi Baruch Korff is wrong.

The 80-year-old Korff was a friend of Nixon’s and stood by him throughout Watergate.

Sawyer, now a journalist for ABC, was an assistant in the Nixon press office. She said Monday through a spokesman that Korff’s claim was laughable.

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``For 20 years we’ve always said that the source `Deep Throat’ was a man,″ said Woodward, now an assistant managing editor at the Post. ``There is no evidence that Diane Sawyer in her kind of subsidiary role in the Nixon White House would have that kind of knowledge.″

Korff said he based his opinion on Sawyer’s ``special relationship″ with press secretary Ron Ziegler, and his observation that Sawyer knew in advance what was going on at the White House.

``I believed it was her,″ Korff said in an interview at his home, where he is ill with pancreatic cancer. ``I have no solid evidence of it, but everything points to it.″

Sawyer’s agent, Richard Liebner, said Woodward and his former Post colleague Carl Bernstein ``would probably have a good laugh″ over the story.

Korff achieved national attention when he formed the Ad Hoc Committee for Fairness to the Presidency to rally support for Nixon during the Watergate crisis.

Korff did not reveal his suspicion in his 1994 book ``The President and I,″ which chronicles his relationship with Nixon. He did not say why he had kept quiet until now about his suspicions.

At various times, it’s been speculated that Deep Throat may have been L. Patrick Gray, then acting FBI chief, or Alexander Haig, who worked then for National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Other names have also been mentioned.

The secret source led Woodward and Bernstein to discover financial discrepancies and attempts to cover up criminal activity among the president’s top staffers. Nixon resigned Aug. 6, 1974, and died last year.