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Nixon's Senate support wilts

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 1974 (UPI)-President Nixon's last line of defense against removal from office is crumbling in the Senate as his staunchest Republican supporters call publicly and privately for his resignation.

Senate GOP leaders, conceding that a strong majority of Republican Senators want Nixon to step down immediately, are seeking ways to get that message to the President.

Senate Republicans met behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss Nixon's resignation and talked about sending a delegation of Republicans to the White House to urge that he resign.

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GOP Leader Hugh Scott called a meeting of the party leadership Wednesday to continue discussing whether such a delegation should be sent and whom should it include.

"I think it's essential that the President know the views of the senators of his own party as soon as that can be arranged," Scott said.

Sens. Barry M. Goldwater and John Tower-two of Nixon's staunchest conservative supporters in the Senate-said at Tuesday's meeting that they favor Nixon's resignation, according to three Senate sources, two of whom attended.

Goldwater denied the report and Tower could not be reached for comment.

Tower, chairman of the Senate GOP policy committee, said his assessment of the meeting-open to all Senate Republicans-was that "the majority sentiment of Republican senators is that he should retire from office."

"The mood is of great concern that the President does not comprehend the hazard he faces in coming to trial in the Senate," the Texan said. "It's pretty obvious there is growing sentiment for resignation among Republicans."

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Tower said two ideas were discussed. One was for all GOP senators favoring Nixon's resignation to seek a meeting with him and ask that he step down. The other was to send a delegation of GOP leaders.

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