Answer: FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover
Senator Thomas Dodd (D-CT) of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee confidently asserted on Meet the Press May 2, 1965 a connection between the Communists stirring up trouble in the Dominican Republic and their desire to divide U.S. military power at a time when America was beginning to increase forces in South Vietnam. Sen. Dodd qualified his assertion by telling panelist Lawrence E. Spivak "I haven't any doubt about it. I am very sure there is a connection between the two. I am informed, and I am very sure my information is accurate.”
Why was he so sure of the accuracy of his claim?
According to noted historian Michael Beschloss in “Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson's Secret White House Tapes (1964-1965)”, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover personally briefed Senator Dodd, three days prior to his appearance on Meet the Press. You can listen here to the April 29, 1965 phone conversation between Hoover and LBJ in which Hoover tells the President of his plans to brief Dodd the next day, courtesy of the Miller Center:
And you can watch an excerpt of Senator Thomas Dodd on Meet the Press here:
And in case you missed it, Senator Dodd's son, former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) - now head of the Motion Picture Association - sat down with David Gregory last week for our PRESS Pass conversation and spoke about politics and Hollywood.
Every Monday, Betsy Fischer - the Executive Producer of Meet the Press - poses a trivia question on Twitter about the 63 years of history making moments and guests on Meet The Press. Check back every Tuesday for answers and video clips!