Charles W. Colson, former special counsel to President Nixon, said yesterday that a quotation about "hush money" from Jan. 8, 1973, transcript of a taped Nixon-Colson conversation is inaccurate.
The quotation as reported in the press this weekend had Nixon telling Colson: . . . God damn hush money, uh, how are we going to (unitelligible . . . "
Colon said he had listened to the tape two years ago for many hours and the discussion "hush money" was not in the conversation. In addition, Colon said that two of his lawyers agreed with him that there was no "hush money" discussion.
Two official sources involved in preparing the tapes and who have listened to the Jan. 8. 1973, conversation, however, said that the tape has a discussion of "hush money."
A spokesman for the Office of the Special Watergate Prosecutor said there were at least two versions of the transcript in circulation but declined to identify which one, if any, had been settled on as the final version.
The transcript obtained by The Washington Post and identified as the final version contains the discussion of "hush money."
Colson disagreed yesterday, saying that he was "absolutely certain I am right on this . . . I listened to that tape for hours because it impugned my credibility." Colson has always maintained that there were no discussions of "hush money" with Nixon.
The passage in dispute is in a portion of a transcript that was not introduced in evidence at the Watergate trial but was used by prosecutors preparing the case and circulated to prospective defendants, witnesses and their lawyers.
The unreleased segments of the transcripts were obtained by The Washington Post a week ago from sources unconnected with David Frost interview with Richard Nixon to be televised Wednesday.