According this one person, Lyndon Johnson also liked the phrase. However, I could find no other reference to this "fact" on the Internet, so take it for what it is worth.
The famous phrase, "Hold your friends close and your enemies closer" has often been attributed to Lyndon Baines Johnson. LBJ lived by it and never let it out of his sights.
~Carol Kallendorf, PhD
http://www.bizwatchonline.com/Archive/N ... _close.htm
The expression is not from "The Godfather," it is from "The Godfather, Part II"
Michael gives credit for being taught the maxim from his father, but it is Michael who says the words.
Here is the entire passage:
This used to be my father's old study -- it's changed. I remember there used to be a big desk, right here. I remember when I was a kid, Frankie, we had to be very quiet when we played near here. I was very happy that this house never went to strangers -- first Clemenza took it over, now you. My father taught me many things here -- he taught me in this room...
(then, as Michael sits beside Pentangeli)
He taught me -- keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Now, if Hyman Roth sees that I interceded in this thing, and the Rosato brothers failed him, he's gonna think his relationship with me is still good.
- Al Pacino as Michael Corleone to Frank Pentangeli, from The Godfather, Part II (1974)
http://www.robertdeniro.hpg.ig.com.br/h ... script.txt