GOP consultant: Nixon hinted that he thought LBJ killed JFK

Roger Stone, right-wing conspiracy theorist

Roger Stone, a Republican political operative famed for his hardball tactics, is publishing a book arguing that Lyndon Johnson organized the assassination of President Kennedy. And he claims he has evidence to prove it. We’ve heard that line before, so I’m skeptical.

The most interesting disclosure Stone has made so far concern his conversations with former President Richard Nixon. As the Daily Beast reported:

“According to Stone, Nixon “never flatly said who was responsible [for Kennedy’s death]. But he would say, ‘Both Johnson and I wanted to be president, but the only difference was I wouldn’t kill for it.”

When pressed on who he thought killed Kennedy, Nixon “would shiver and say, ‘Texas,’” said Stone.

The other noteworthy aspect of Stone’s book is that it gives lie to the misconception, voiced by Thom Mallon and John McAdams, that skepticism about the official assassination story is a leftist obsession that wishes away the painful truth of Lee Oswald’s political motives.

Stone came of age as New Right strategist in the Reagan era. More recently he came out as a libertine/libertarian in a 2008 New Yorker profile. Liberals could only abhor his tactics but his success was proof that he had a realistic understanding of the workings of  American politics. The one thing you can be sure Roger Stone is not is a political progressive trying to coverup for Oswald.

41 comments

  1. John Kirsch says:

    I covered politics, sometimes on a national level, for years, although I don’t remember meeting Stone. But I didn’t need to meet him because I knew his type: utterly ruthless in pursuit of electing their candidate. Lies, half-truths, distortions — as long as it worked, it was in bounds. I never could understand how people could see such individuals as anything more than what they were, hired guns.

  2. jeff pascal says:

    I am definitely eager to read Stone’s book which better than anything published so far could explain LBJ and Nixon’s paranoia as President. Hopefully, people won’t prejudge his work, his politics aren’t mine and I have no idea how good his book will be. I no longer give LBJ the benefit of the doubt, like with the mob there are too many huge coincidences and confessions. However proof beyond a reasonable doubt is really a legal burden that is almost impossible to meet and the final chapter has yet to be written.I’m pretty sure this will be an interesting and entertaining read, however to prove it as he says will take more than good arguments. The provenance of the alleged Ruby-Nixon-LBJ Documents needs verification for starters.

  3. Jonathan says:

    According to Stone, who knew Nixon well, Nixon hired Jack Ruby as an informer in the 1950s upon LBJ’s recommendation.

    This assertion is easy to believe. I don’t know in what capacity Nixon allegedly hired Ruby. But if one wanted the straight dope on Dallas in the 1950s, Ruby would have been a key source.

  4. “Texas” according to Richard Nixon murdered John Kennedy. And by that Nixon means Lyndon Johnson and his circle of Dallas, TX, oil executives who had immaculate ties with LBJ, Hoover, military generals and the CIA. Nixon would also refer to the JFK assassination as “the whole Bay of Pigs thing.”

    Barry Goldwater, by 1973, had also come to believe that Lyndon Johnson was behind the JFK assassination; we know that because Goldwater told that to Jeffrey Hoff in fall, 1973, at a GOP picnic in Arizona. I interviewed Hoff in 2012 at JFK Lancer with Debra Conway nearby.

    Conspiracy theorists? Lyndon Johnson himself spent a lot of time telling folks behind the scenes that Fidel Castro murdered JFK; LBJ told his mistress Madeleine Brown and his chief of staff Marvin Watson that the CIA did it.

    I personally spoke with Deke DeLoach before he died and he confirmed that Lyndon Johnson told Watson the CIA did it. DeLoach, the FBI’s PR man, played a key role in covering up the JFK assassination.

    Here is my correspondence with Roger Stone from 2012 on Twitter:

    Roger Stone tweet to me on January 9, 2012 (at 1:19)

    “LBJ had it done. Mob, CIA, Hoover, all in on it. RFK knew. So did Nixon.”

    Then on 1/17, I sent Roger Stone a Tweet from Morrow321

    “Roger, did Richard Nixon directly tell u these things @ the JFK assassination? My number is 512-306-1510. And yours? Can we talk about JFK?”

    Roger Stone on 1/17/12 tweet to me:

    “RN was oblique on this subject. He would just snort and say “You don’t want to know” and once said Warren Comm Report was “bullshit”"

    ###

    One final note: Richard Nixon had forbidden his fundraisers from accepting any money at all from H.L. Hunt; not many politicians do something like that. H.L. Hunt’s son is Ray Lee Hunt, a noted neocon oilman & modern day Dallas leader who recently gave $25 million to the GWB #43 presidential library. Ray Lee Hunt had been appointed to GWB’s Foreign Intelligece Advisory Board, a plum position.

    • LMB says:

      It is going to be interesting to see what proof he has before he joins the chorus with notables (list below) in this case:

      Billie Sol Estes
      Madeleine Brown
      E. Howard Hunt
      Barr McClellan

  5. Here is a tidbit from Nixon’s “Smoking Gun” tape (date 6/23/72), the one that was so politically damaging to Nixon. When GHW Bush read the transcripts of this tape Dean Burch reported that GHW Bush had an absolutely hysterical reaction.

    Web link: http://watergate.info/1972/06/23/the-smoking-gun-tape.html

    NIXON: When you get in to see these people, say: “Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that…” ah, I mean, without going into the details of, of lying to them to the extent to say that there is no involvement. But, you can say, “This is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre,” without getting into it, “The President’s belief is that this is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And, ah because ah these people are playing for, for keeps and that they should call the FBI in and we feel that … that we wish for the country, don’t go any further into this case, period!”

    Following instructions, Haldeman informed CIA Director Richard Helms of Nixon’s concern that the Watergate investigation would “open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again.” Haldeman gives this account of what transpired next:

    “Turmoil in the room. Helms, gripping the arms of his chair, leaning forward and shouting, ‘The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this. I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs.’
    “Silence. I just sat there. I was absolutely shocked by Helms’ violent reaction. Again I wondered, what was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story?”

    Isn’t it obvious that these folks – Nixon, Helms – are talking about the JFK assassination?

    And isn’t it likely that the missing 18 minutes of Watergate tape are probably explicit references to the JFK assassination, America’s darkest secret?

  6. leslie sharp says:

    Regardless of any inside information Mr. Stone purports to have, I am disappointed that he has been afforded space on a website defining itself as dedicated to fact and uncovering the truth. Anyone who has studied Stone’s history will know what I mean. At the risk of fanning any flame that might draw more attention to Stone, I protest his book and his methods.

    I recognize that it is seldom prudent to disavow a message solely based of one’s prejudice against the messenger, but in this instance I believe it is justified. Including Roger Stone in the conversation about the assassination of President John Kennedy is an affront to any and all who have committed significant portions of their lives seeking the truth about the assassination. In light of this current attempt by Stone to capitalize on the 50th (where was this book over the last three decades?), surely sincere researchers and journalists will rise above the time worn axiom, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    • Roger Stone: Nixon “never flatly said who was responsible [for Kennedy’s death]. But he would say, ‘Both Johnson and I wanted to be president, but the only difference was I wouldn’t kill for it.”

      Stone is very credible to me and he was quite close to Richard Nixon, unlike any other person on this blog. Correct? Nixon told others, including Sen. Howard Baker, similar things to what he told Stone.

      Oral History Interview with DON HEWITT
      October 8, 2002, New York, NY, By Vicki Daitch
      For the John F. Kennedy Library

      HEWITT:
      . . .
      And then, I’ll tell you on tape, I was sitting in Howard Baker’s office. . . .

      He said to me–I think I told him that story. He said,
      “You know, I once said to Richard Nixon, “What do you know about the Kennedy assassination?”

      And he said to me, ‘You don’t want to know.’” That frosted me.

      I think about that a lot.

      #######

      Richard Nixon at times would also tell Stone “you don’t want to know” when asked about the JFK assassination.

      • leslie sharp says:

        Robert,
        If I follow your logic, Roger Stone was relatively close to President Richard Nixon and on one (or more) occasions Nixon intimated to him that Lyndon Johnson was willing to kill in order to attain the presidency; therefore, Stone (because of his relationship with Nixon) should be viewed as a credible source implicating Lyndon Johnson in the assassination. Would he now be willing to testify to that effect?

        I have no idea what Stone’s forthcoming book contains, but if it is based on Nixon’s opinion of Johnson, I wonder how he will fill a sufficient number of pages. However, if it is based on Stone’s proof of Nixon’s actual knowledge of the assassination (only now reported second hand by Roger Stone), it may indeed have value.

        But that begs the question: If President Nixon knew first hand that Johnson was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, can Roger Stone explain why Nixon did not reopen the investigation.

        • JSA says:

          Robert Caro saw the seamy side of Lyndon Johnson as well, as did others, like Barr McClellan. It’s worth pondering whether Lyndon and Dick were perhaps cut from the same cloth? They wore different party labels, but both were abusers of political power, both covered up scandal (Bobby Baker/Watergate) and both fell from grace as a result of their flawed characters. I also heard that Lyndon Johnson didn’t really care much whether his Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, won in 1968 or not. Both Johnson and Nixon courted J. Edgar Hoover, LBJ perhaps more skillfully than Nixon, but they seem to me to have much in common—and less difference than between Jack Kennedy, who was from a polar opposite politically from both.

      • leslie sharp says:

        Consider Stone’s history with the Gulf Oil-Mellon-Scaife family whose history includes the OSS and financial backing of Ken Starr’s pursuit of the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton scandal; consider Stone’s history with Donald Trump; consider Stone’s history with the Elliott Spitzer scandal that interrupted Spitzer’s pursuit of corporate corruption and consider Stone’s Florida relationship to the owners of the NY hotel that employed Spitzer’s “call girl;” consider Stone’s relationship with new age guru Keith Ranier of Scaife-funded NXIVM whose acolytes included Bronfman family members as well as the daughter of DC developer/Republican Party financial backer Bill Cafritz. And mostly remember and consider that Roger Stone was a member of Young Americans for Freedom and one of the RNC’s early rat-f-ckers.

        • mball says:

          You’ve just given a description that could cover almost any president and many important, powerful people who go back and forth between the business world and government. Everything done in Washington is done (or not done) for political reasons.

  7. William Windorf says:

    It is ironic that just as the press of this book release is getting around, Billie Sol Estes dies. Billie Sol Estes is a central figure in the Stone book:
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Man-Who-Killed-Kennedy/dp/1626363137/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366222431&sr=8-1&keywords=Roger+Stone

  8. JSA says:

    Here’s my question for Mr. Stone:
    If it was LBJ who was the mastermind, which it very well may have been, WHY is the cover up still happening with remaining evidence? My take is that LBJ may have planned the assassination, but others, particularly CIA, had to have been involved, otherwise why does anyone still care about keeping the lid on the remaining evidence/files? They would care, because CIA doesn’t want to be incriminated as an institution. They remember painfully how they got dragged through the coals in the seventies, by Senator Frank Church and others. Not that these earlier efforts were that effective at curtailing agency abuses, but they threatened the agency and were perceived as a major threat. So I think LBJ had major help in getting the job done if indeed he was the mastermind. And again, I do think he was involved, and I think this will come out over time with honest research and when people are less rigid and attacking of people skeptical of the Warren Commission line.

    • LMB says:

      It may have taken this long (50 years) and we may never know all the incriminating details. One thing is for sure. We know a lot more than what people knew in 1963. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and the nation’s embarrassment is that “LBJ had it done. Mob, CIA, Hoover, all in on it. RFK knew. So did Nixon.” So be it.

  9. John Kirsch says:

    I think you also have to look at the political context in which Stone’s book will appear, to wit, the ongoing GOP effort to undo the domestic reforms that LBJ put in place, such as Medicare. Anything that can be done to besmirch Johnson would help in the Republican effort to shred the safety net.

  10. John Kirsch says:

    I’ll go even further and say that I believe much of the effort to pin the assassination on LBJ is politically motivated, an effort by frustrated extremists who want to blacken the memory of a Democratic president who presided over the greatest period of domestic reform since the New Deal. Have any of these extremists ever had a book or article published by a reputable publisher? Do they have any real, solid, actual evidence that LBJ was involved in any way? So far I haven’t seen any. All I’ve seen are dark hints and troubling suggestions that don’t amount to anything.

    • Jonathan says:

      John Kirsch,

      To me, the assassination has nothing to do with politics, except that I believe it was a coup d’etat. If it turns out right wingers did it, fine; left wingers, fine; amoral SOBs, fine.

      I take issue, however, with the notion that one who wants to blacken the memory of LBJ is necessarily an extremist.

      FWIW, I always have loathed LBJ. Not because of the JFK assassination or any other domestic event, but because of his plunging this country into war in Viet Nam. The 1960s anti-war protestors had it right: “Hey, hey, LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?”

      • John Kirsch says:

        Jonathan, I may have painted with too broad a brush in leaving the impression that I thought all LBJ critics are extremists. Many of them are, however. I’m talking about the people who have been trying to undo the New Deal since the beginning. You can draw a straight line from them to people like Roger Stone. Anything that can be done to undermine LBJ helps their overall effort to repeal social reforms. I don’t know whether LBJ had anything to do with the assassination or not. I’ve yet to see anything beyond innuendo. My point is that people like Roger Stone have an agenda and that needs to be kept in mind, regardless of what if any actual light his book sheds on 11/22.

        • JSA says:

          I give Lyndon Johnson credit for passing civil rights legislation and for trying to help the poor with his anti-poverty programs. I like his attempt to emulate his predecessor, FDR. But I don’t like his Vietnam policies, nor his cosy-ing up to Brown & Root, up to J. Edgar Hoover, and up to the military hardliners, things JFK never did. I also think LBJ was behind a domestic coup to take the presidency. So there you have it. I’m a liberal, but I don’t view everything through a party/ideological lens. I think Roger Stone may have something. More research is needed by historians, those with open minds.

  11. John Kirsch says:

    Just to show that I am not seeing things through a totally partisan lens (I’m an FDR Democrat) I think that people who say that GHWB was somehow involved with the events of 11/22 are making assertions they cannot support with evidence or facts. They are working in what you might call a “fact-free environment.”

  12. EconWatcher says:

    It’s very hard to draw a line from Oswald to LBJ. It’s very easy to draw a line from Oswald to be cabal of angry exiles, mobsters, and CIA operatives who were furious about JFK’s Cuba policy.

    The LBJ connection seems very speculative and, as Kirsch points out, there are political reasons for people like Stone to push it.

    • Lyndon Johnson had a hell of a lot deeper and higher level affiliation over a period of decades with the military/industrial/intelligence complex than Lee Harvey Oswald ever did.

      LBJ was the MIC’s #1 guy in Congress for the entire 1950′s and he was one of a handful who had direct congressional oversight of the newly created CIA.

    • Jonathan says:

      Drawing lines is a false analogy. It’s Baloney.

      Look at at the facts. The man Jack Ruby killed had a complex trajectory that placed him in the TSBD on 11/22/63.

      Follow the guy Jack Ruby killed. From childhood onward. Check the photographs.

  13. LMB says:

    If the attached is not doctored, someone please tell me, who is Jack Ruby pointing a finger at?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omnpQBa1Euc

  14. leslie sharp says:

    Robert,
    And when considering Roger Stone’s close and lucrative connection with the Mellons of Gulf Oil, consider the Mellon relationship by marriage to David K.E. Bruce, former Ambassador to the Court of St. James whose brother, James Bruce was president of National Dairy that held a significant contract with United Fruit in 1963 whose law firm was Dulles brothers’ Sullivan & Cromwell, financed by McCloy/Douglas/Crichton connected Empire Trust. The Bruce family lineage includes the Cabell family, most likely (at the very least distantly) related to Earl (Mayor of Dallas) and Charles (CIA) Cabell of the Cabell Dairy located some miles north of Dallas. I do not see Lyndon Johnson’s footprint here except as he relates to the larger chess board, perhaps playing the role of Rook – capable of moving horizontally and vertically and dedicated to protecting the King and ultimately the Queen.

  15. John Kirsch says:

    Re: the speculation about LBJ being involved somehow in 11/22 — it is precisely that, speculation, just as the speculation about GHWB’s alleged involvement is just that, speculation. The Free Dictionary online says that to speculate is “To engage in a course of reasoning often based on inconclusive evidence.” Which is another way of saying that this sort of thing is a waste of time. If, after 50 years, you are unable to make a persuasive, fact-based argument to support the assertion that these 2 men were involved in 11/22, then you need to find another way to approach the case.

    • leslie sharp says:

      John,
      I do think that there is a vast difference between considering Lyndon Johnson as suspect of authorizing and/or orchestrating the assassination and the likelihood that entities invested in and supportive of a Bush political dynasty were involved.

      LBJ grew up grass roots and his political advancement relied solely on his ability to capitalize on his identification with the power brokers of the day. The more entrenched power in our country lay with a far deeper echelon of the establishment that included (but certainly was not limited to) most members of the Brown, Harriman, Walker, Bush and related families and corporations in control of the country and its policies for centuries, all committed to and benefiting from historic ties to British interests. Johnson was not at that party except perhaps as an invited guest.

      • Lyndon Johnson had close personal friendships with H.L. Hunt (the richest individual in the world in 1963), Clint Murchison, Sr (perhaps the leading businessman in Texas at that time), D.H. Byrd, Frank Late (mega-wealthy, maybe top 10 in America), and Nelson Rockefeller and Lawrence Rockefeller.

        Don’t even pretend to tell me the Texas oil men were not wielding vast amounts of business and political power in the 1950′s and 1960′s. Texas legislators were running key congressional committees for decades.

        And let’s not forget George and Herman Brown. That is just for starters; God knows who else LBJ was tight with. Certainly friends with the Wash Post Grahams, Paley of CBS, President Frank Stanton CBS, scores of high level media executives, radio staion owners, newspaper publishers.

        LBJ was plugged in at the highest levels of American business & politics and he was pretty much there in the 1950′s.

        Here is one of my favorite nuggets in JFK research- from 1963 which shows the close personal ties between John J. McCloy and Clint Murchison, Sr.:

        “That summer, McCloy relaxed more than he had for many years. He hunted whitewings with Clint Murchison on the Texas oil man’s Mexico farm.” [Kai Bird, The Chairman, p. 542]

    • Thomas says:

      Unfortunately the true evidence of the case has been covered up and distorted since the beginning and so the analysis must begin with the cover up and who gained from it. There is evidence of cover up by the FBI, CIA, and President Johnson in his appointment of the Warren Commission and how the Warren Commission handled the evidence. The assassination took place in Texas and so common sense leads to a possible “involvement” by Johnson and there is a lot of circumstantial evidence to support this theory.

  16. leslie sharp says:

    Robert,
    The point I was attempting to make, and clearly did not do so effectively, was that the power and influence LBJ attained was by sheer force of personality and willingness to engage in corruption. He did not inherit his access. Conversely, the entities I referenced and a number you have identified are among 3rd, 4th, 5th generation American power brokers. To use a crude analogy, these people hire bagmen, and Johnson was one.

  17. Doug Danzeisen says:

    Barr McClellan, Johnson’s lawyer has also written a book that accuses LBJ of JFK’s murder. It is of course a fact that Johnson established the Warren commission to head off any Texas, House or Senate investigations that were pending. Motive, means and opportunity were all there in abundance, and the fact that Mac Wallace, Johnson’s criminal killer thug, had his thumbprint on a carton IN the sniper’s nest is intriguing as well. I can’t wait to read my copy of the book.

  18. Simple questions: why would Nixon want the “straight dope” on Dallas in the 1950s? and, if he did for whatever reasons, why would he hire Jack Ruby? Was Ruby moonlighting as a political operative?

  19. winston says:

    Why are skeptics called ‘conspiracy theorists’?
    “This cultural phenomenon goes back to 1967. At that time, in response to questions about the Warren Commission Report (which President Ford helped create), the CIA issued a memorandum calling for mainstream media sources to begin countering “conspiracy theorists.” In the 45 years before the CIA memo came out, the phrase “conspiracy theory” appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times only 50 times, or about once per year. In the 45 years after the CIA memo, the phrase appeared 2,630 times, or about once per week.”
    When there is a substantial body of well-documented evidence in support of a claim, then it is correct to think the claim may be true. This is the case with 9-11 (see: http://smu.gs/L1p7XU) and with the Kennedy case as well: http://22november1963.org.uk/

    • Gerry Simone says:

      If one doesn’t believe that Oswald was the lone assassin, then we are conspiracy theorists.

      They don’t even say ‘JFK conspiracy theorists’ or ‘JFK conspiracy proponents’.

      Reason being is that they lump us in a group that includes all different kinds of conspiracies (such as the moon landing hoax) many of which have been debunked or do not have much basis in fact if not out right nutty, in an effort to discredit the pro-conspiracy camp.

      As someone else has mentioned herein, the CIA issued a memo on the use of their assets to discredit CTs.

      It’s a form of character assassination to kill dissent (hey, they can’t just ‘eliminate’ everyone lol).

      Now, to a degree, I believe that the present day CIA doesn’t need any negative reports that would tarnish their image that could jeopardize funding and operations. I can appreciate that.

      However, if there are guilty of only embarrassing events from 50 years ago that would make them look inept or negligent, I say, let bygones be bygones and let the People have their information, and work towards preventing any mistakes in the future if they haven’t already.

  20. Addison Hall says:

    LBJ’s part in the conspiracy is well known. He had assistance of course, from Hoover and others. Oswald was placed in the building but, never fired a shot. Another shooter(s) took the shots. It got pinned on Oswald. He was set up – just a patsy.

    Jackie and Bobby both knew it was LBJ. The both feared him. Bobby was killed for LBJ feared if he became President – he would expose LBJ and tarnish his family. Martin was killed because LBJ had learned
    Martin was going to deliver the Black community and other lunatic leftists to Bobby.

    LBJ had to kill both of them to keep things status quo.

    LBJ killed men before he killed JFK. He fingered at least 7 others so killing JFK was no big deal. He didn’t have to worry ss he had a host of others to rely on.

  21. Reggie says:

    The car was washed almost immediately and then sent to Cincinati to be refurbished.At the behest of LBJ.Why was he never charged for “Tampering with relevant evidence”?Same with Connelys clothes.Te “Warren Coverup Committee” was handpicked by LBJ.Oswald was seen 90 seconds after the shooting.4 floors down.Let us assume that Ruby failed to silence Oswald.And Melvine Belli took his case.He could have easily proved Oswald not guilty.How can a man be two places at once?LBJ called Parkland hosp and demanded a deathbed confession out of Oswald.Coincidence?LBJ did it.The Warren report was so false that it beggars the imagination that the people of the US believed it.

  22. Kris James Kiritsis says:

    I am an independent. I would just like to know the truth, as we all do. But the more I read about LBJ, the more I think he could be involved.

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