Twenty-one months after the Canuck letter came out, Nixon campaign operative Donald Segretti sent Muskie an apology.

The Muskie Archives has it at Bates College in Lewiston.

A copy of the original letter that U.S. Sen. Edmund Muskie received in 1973 from Nixon campaign operative Donald Segretti, the man who may have written the Canuck letter almost two years earlier. Muskie Archives at Bates College

“Dear Senator Muskie,” the by-then convicted dirty trickster wrote on Oct. 11, 1973, “I wish to personally apologize to you, your family and your staff for my activities in the 1972 presidential campaign.

“Such activities are wrong and have no place in the American political process,” he said. “I trust that my public statements to that effect and my guilty plea will prevent others for getting involved in such activities in the future.”

Muskie thanked Segretti for his note.

He told him in a return letter that he remained hurt and angry about what had happened, but more as a citizen than as “a disappointed candidate.”


Journalist Broder, too, later apologized for the story he wrote for the Washington Post during the campaign, which began: “With tears streaming down his face and his voice choked with emotion, Senator Edmund S. Muskie (D-Maine) stood in the snow outside the Manchester Union Leader this morning and accused its publisher of making vicious attacks on him and his wife, Jane.”

In a 1987 piece for The Washington Monthly, he explained that he’d written about the speech in New Hampshire with the context of knowing the man and the campaign.

What he didn’t know at the time was the “campaign sabotage” engaged in by Nixon.

“Unwittingly,” Broder wrote, “I did my part in the work of the Nixon operatives in helping destroy the credibility of the Muskie candidacy.”

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