Richard Nixon jokingly considered Spiro Agnew his insurance against assassination, and once asked aide John Ehrlichman to suggest that national security adviser Henry Kissinger see a psychiatrist, according to Ehrlichman's memoirs, appearing in Newsweek.

In "Witness to Power," Ehrlichman writes that he never made the suggestion to Kissinger, who apparently had angered Nixon with his obsession with news leaks and his public image.

Regarding his vice president, who later resigned after pleading no contest to tax-evasion charges, Nixon said: "No assassin in his right mind would kill me. They know that if they did they would end up with Agnew," according to Ehrlichman.

Elsewhere in the book, to be published by Simon & Schuster in February, Ehrlichman writes:

* Nixon considered naming Agnew to the Supreme Court so John Connally could be his running mate in 1972.

* Nixon distrusted FBI director J. Edgar Hoover but enjoyed listening to his stories of illegal FBI activities at foreign embassies. Hoover once told Nixon he had information that chief of staff H.R. Haldeman, Ehrlichman and aide Dwight Chapin were homosexual lovers. Hoover later retracted the charge.

* Nixon's famous remark to the press upon losing the 1962 California governor's race -- that the media wouldn't "have Nixon to kick around anymore" -- was uttered while Nixon was suffering a bad hangover.