Here’s what President Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell, said at a Press Conference in order to assuage growing fears of new government eavesdropping powers, as reported by this July 25, 1969 article
from Time Magazine
Mitchell refused to disclose any figures, but he indicated that the number was far lower than most people might think. “Any citizen of this United States who is not involved in some illegal activity,” he added, “has nothing to fear whatsoever.”
White House spokesman Trent Duffy said in December, 2005, defending Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program:
This is a limited program. This is not about monitoring phone calls designed to arrange Little League practice or what to bring to a potluck dinner. These are designed to monitor calls from very bad people to very bad people who have a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings and churches.