Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Lyndon Johnson wanted JACKIE KENNEDY to ride in his car in the Dallas motorcade!

From Robert Morrow  512-306-1510, Austin, TX

Lyndon Johnson wanted Jackie to ride in his car in the Dallas motorcade!! Source George Smathers who conversed with JFK on Air Force One on the flight back from Florida on Monday, Nov. 18, 1963




          On Monday, Kennedy returned to Washington on Air Force One. His back hurt. Lying on his stateroom bed, he summoned George Smathers from the front of the plane: “God, I wish you could think of some way of getting me out of going to Texas…. Look how screwed up it’s going to be. You’ve got Lyndon, who is insisting that Jackie ride with him. You’ve got Ralph Yarborough, who hates Lyndon, and Johnson doesn’t want Yarborough with him. Connally is the Governor.

          “They are all prima donnas of the biggest order, and they’re all insisting that they either ride with me or Jackie. The law says the Vice President can’t ride with the President. I’ve got to start off my speech saying what a fine guy Johnson is, what a fine guy Connally is, and then Yarborough, and they all don’t like each other. I just wish to hell I didn’t have to go. Can’t you think of some emergency we could have?”




          [Michael Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev 1960-1963, pp. 665-666]


Lyndon Johnson wanted JACKIE to ride in his car in Texas!! Source: Sen. George Smathers, a good friend of JFK (11/18/63 talk on Air Force 1)

**Lyndon did not want Jackie’s brains to get blown out, too**


Sen. George Smathers, U.S. Congress 1946-1968:


“I came back to Washington with the President. He was lying down. They had a bed in the Air Force One for him to lie on. So he said, “Gee, I really hate to go to Texas. I got to go to Texas next week and it’s just a pain in the rear end and I just don’t want to go. I wish I could get out of it.” And I said, “Well, what’s the problem?” He said, “Well, you know how Lyndon is.” Lyndon was Vice President. “Lyndon wants to ride with me, but John Connally is the governor and he wants to ride and I think that protocol says that he’s supposed to ride and Johnson wants Jackie to ride with him.” And Connally was, at that time, a little bit jealous of Lyndon and Lyndon was a little jealous of him, so it’s all these fights were going on. He said, “I just don’t want to go down in that mess. I hate to go. I wish I could think of a way to get out of it.”


Transcript from PBS "American Experience - The Kennedys Part II - The Sons" available on line here:



about 1/2 way down the page on the transcript.


You can watch the George Smathers’ clip here at PBS. It is at the 1 hour 44 minute 30 second mark:


I asked a fellow JFK researcher: Does it seem funny that Lyndon Johnson would be asking to be in JFK’s car if Lyndon knew that JFK was going to be slaughtered in a kill zone during the motorcade? The key point is that nothing that Lyndon Johnson ever did in his life justifies giving him “the benefit of the doubt.” Precisely the opposite. And here was his reply:


Re: “But the part that puzzles me is Johnson wanting to ride with Kennedy.”

JFK  Researcher: I wouldn’t worry about this at all, and here’s why:

1.     The Smather’s on-camera statement was made decades later, so there has to be some allowance here for a slight jumbling in recollection and “re-transmission”

  1. (and more important) :very likely, Lyndon—when he talked to JFK about this-- dissembled (as he always seemed to do), beat around the bush, and very likely sent a confusing message to JFK, which, in the re-telling to Smathers, may have been jumbled (and/or misunderstood) ; and then we have (as noted in my point 1) the re-telling, by Smathers, to a camera, decades later.

        So this is a very interesting problem of separating “the signal from the noise” (as they say in information theory); and I think what is truly important is that Smathers remembers JFK complaining, on 11/18, and on a ride aboard AF-1 from Florida, that (a) he didn’t want to go to Texas and (b) among the many problems he had to deal with was this business of LBJ wanting Jackie to ride with him.

    This interview by Smathers provides really excellent “first hand” evidence of the extent to which JFK was being personally lobbied, by his own Vice President, on matters pertaining to the Texas trip—i.e., on getting him to go there (to Texas, AND to Dallas) in the first place; and then to the extent of the actual configuration of which car she would ride in, in the Dallas motorcade (!).   If it weren’t for Smathers, all we’d have is the mealy-mouthed cop-out language of Sorensen, and others like him.

    3. Also, please do note the logical problem if LBJ really wanted to ride with JFK: IF that little snippet of a quote were to be taken seriously (and I do not take it seriously), then the actual configuration (i.e. Car-seating) would be that Lyndon Johnson would want to be in the same car as JFK, so if that were to be so—then how could it then be that LBJ “wanted Jackie to ride with him”?    The phrase “ride with him” implies separate cars. Clearly.

    And, finally, for the same reason that the President and the vice President do NOT ever fly on the same aircraft, I am positive that—just on those grounds alone—it would be a complete violation of security for the President and the Vice Presient to appear in an open car together.

    So my appraisal of this “re-transmission” (by Smathers) of what he heard JFK saying, is that: (a) Lyndon was making a bunch of noise, complaining about this and that; and (b) buried in that “noise” was his real message; and that his real message was that he, as a “galaant” Texas, wanted the President’s wife to ride with him.  I think that the rest of what Smathers heard—or thinks he heard, and then re-transmitted, in this interview—is simply false.

    And again, let me repeat my reasons for saying so. . .


    (1) Common sense rules out that the Pres and the Vice Pres would ride in the same limo. (Ever).

    (2) IF LBJ really wanted “to ride with JFK,” then his request that he wanted Jackie “to ride with him” would make no logical sense.

    OK. . . Those are my beliefs about this remarkable little piece of information.

    First of all; I think its valid; and secondly, it shows what a sneaky bastard LBJ was—to try to actually lobby the President so that he would not have his wife within inches, and it would make him an easier target.

    Of course—had LBJ succeeded in this gambit, he would have to have had a lot of explaining to do afterwards, to credibly explain why Jackie was not seated next to her husband, in Dallas, as she obviously was in other cities.

JFK Researcher #2 commented on George Smathers’ comments:

I agree that Smathers' interpretation of "Johnson wants to ride with me" was in error. Secret Service regulations forbade the President and Vice-President riding together in the same car. At the time of the Dallas visit, there was a feud going on between Texas Democrats with the conservatives of the Johnson-Connally faction against the more liberal Democrats led by Sen. Ralph Yarborough, a JFK supporter. Yarborough was the one riding in Johnson's car with LBJ and Lady Bird.


It has been reported that on the morning of the assassination, LBJ came to the President's suite at the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth and a loud argument broke out between the men. The subject of their disagreement, it was said, was the seating arrangements for the Dallas motorcade. Johnson, it appears, was making a last ditch attempt to get Connally out of JFK's car by using the excuse that Yarborough didn't want to ride with HIM. (Which was true.) But I believe that the seating arrangements were for a purpose --- to show solidarity by having Connally with JFK and Yarborough with LBJ, so there was NO WAY JFK was going to budge on the seating arrangements.


Had Kennedy yielded to Johnson's demands, which would have put Yarborough in JFK's limo, Yarborough, instead of Connally, would have been shot along with Kennedy.


More on that in a second.


H.L. Hunt, Johnson's financial backer and mentor, had a religious foundation called the LIFELINE FOUNDATION. It enjoyed religious status and Federal exemption from income taxes. But in its weekly radio broadcasts, its messages were more political than religious and and when I say political, I mean anti-JFK.


In the weeks before the assassination, Hunt's radio program blasted the Administration and its policies.


It accused JFK of bypassing Congress to follow a line enunciated from Moscow.


It was a time, Lifeline broadcasts cried, for "extreme patriotism".


( Source: POWER TO DESTROY, The Political Uses of the IRS from Kennedy to Nixon by John A. Andrew III,, published by Ivan R. Dee, Chicago 2002-- pg 97)


Many of the funds that were "donations" to these tax-exempt religious organizations were in fact earmarked for right-wing extremist groups. These religious organizations allowed contributors to make donations to right-wing extremist groups and receive a tax deduction for them.


In 1961, the President asked Walter and Victor Reuther to come up with a plan to combat these extreme right-wing forces. Known as the "Reuther Memorandum", one of the things that the document suggested was to "choke off the flow of money to the radical right by challenging groups' tax-exempt status".


( ibid. pg 21)


Hence, the IRS' Ideological Organizations Project ( IOP ) was formed.


A March 9, 1962 IRS internal memo listed the first groups to be investigated. Among them were Hunt's Lifeline Organization ( Dallas District ) , the John Birch Society ( for which "Lifeline" was a front ) and the National Indignation Convention, Dallas District.


( ibid. pg 29)


In February 1963, ( at a time when Oswald was "buying" his weapons ), the IRS recommended revocation of the tax-exempt status for Hunt's "Life Line". Lifeline had run into problems with the IRS because "approximately 50%" of its publications were "in the nature of propaganda. These releases discussed only one side of an issue and were not consistent with the purposes of an exempt educational organization".


(ibid. pg 33 )


Now here's the kicker.


A Senate Sub-Committee was scheduled to hold hearings in January 1964 on the tax-exemption status of religious organizations with extremist political viewpoints.


The Chair of that Sub-Committee ? Sen. Ralph Yarborough of Texas.


( ibid. pg 34 )


Had Yarborough been in Kennedy's car instead of Connally, HE would have been the one shot up, not Connally. There would have been no hearings, no investigation of Hunt's organization and others.


I find this all extremely interesting in lieu of the fact that Johnson tried so hard, even up to the last minute, to change the seating arrangements for the Dallas motorcade.



Lyndon Johnson wants Jackie to ride

in his car in Dallas!


    LBJ and Secret Service agent Rufus Youngblood were listening to a walkie talkie turned down low:  Remember Texas US Senator Ralph Yarborough and LBJ hated each other, so Yarborough was not going to cover for him. LBJ was in the 3rd car behind John Kennedy. In 1963, on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Ralph Yarborough rode in the motorcade only two cars back from the presidential limousine.  Yarborough was in the same convertible as Vice President Lyndon Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson, and secret service agent Rufus Youngblood. On the morning of 11/22/63 Johnson and Kennedy got into a huge argument over Johnson trying to put his hated enemy Ralph Yarborough in JFK’s limo and his get his close friend John Connally to ride in LBJ’s convertible (so Connally would not get his brains blown out.) Also, before the Dallas trip Lyndon Johnson was arguing with JFK and he was trying to get JACKIE to sit in his (LBJ’s) limo on the Texas trip!!! That last sentence is worth repeating so the importance of it will sink in: before the Dallas trip Lyndon Johnson was arguing with JFK and he was trying to get JACKIE to sit in his (LBJ’s) limo on the Texas trip!!! Johnson was a “gentleman,” he did not want Jackie to get her brains blown out! (the source for that is one of JFK’s friends George Smathers who told that story in a documentary, The Kennedys on PBS’ American experience.

Senator’s Ralph Yarborough's Suspicion of Lyndon Johnson

"There is the well-publicized story of Agent Rufus Youngblood, who reportedly threw himself on top of Vice President Johnson after the shooting began in Dealey Plaza....  Johnson, in a statement to the Warren Commission, mentioned the incident:

I was startled by a sharp report or explosion, but I had no time to speculate as to its origin because Agent Youngblood turned in a flash, immediately after the first explosion, hitting me on the shoulder, and shouted to all of us in the back seat to get down.  I was pushed down by Agent Youngblood.  Almost in the same moment in which he hit or pushed me, he vaulted over the back seat and sat on me.  I was bent over under the weight of Agent Youngblood's body, toward Mrs. Johnson and Senator Yarborough....

However, former Texas senator Ralph Yarborough, who was sitting beside Johnson that day, told this author'It just didn't happen....  It was a small car, Johnson was a big man, tall.  His knees were up against his chin as it was.  There was no room for that to happen.'  Yarborough recalled that both Johnson and Youngblood ducked down as the shooting began and that Youngblood never left the front seat.  Yarborough said Youngblood held a small walkie-talkie over the back of the car's seat and that he and Johnson both put their ears to the device.  He added:  'They had it turned down real low.  I couldn't hear what they were listening to.'"
--Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy

 Ralph Yarborough's Suspicion of the Warren Commission Investigators

"A couple of fellows [from the Warren Commission] came to see me.  They walked in like they were a couple of deputy sheriffs and I was a bank robber.  I didn't like their attitude.  As a senator I felt insulted.  They went off and wrote up something and brought it back for me to sign.  But I refused.  I threw it in a drawer and let it lay there for weeks.  And they had on there the last sentence which stated:  'This is all I know about the assassination.'  They wanted me to sign this thing, then say this is all I know.  Of course, I would never have signed it.  Finally, after some weeks, they began to bug me.  'You're holding this up, you're holding this up' they said, demanding that I sign the report.  So I typed one up myself and put basically what I told you about how the cars all stopped.  I put in there, 'I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but for the protection of future presidents, they should be trained to take off when a shot is fired.'  I sent that over.  That's dated July 10, 1964, after the assassination.  To my surprise, when the volumes were finally printed and came out, I was surprised at how many people down at the White House didn't file their affidavits until after the date, after mine the 10th of July, waiting to see what I was going to say before they filed theirs.  I began to lose confidence then in their investigation and that's further eroded with time."
--Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy

Lyndon Johnson to Dr. Charles Crenshaw on 11/24/63

 “I want a death-bed confession from the accused assassin. There’s a man in the operating room who will take a statement. I will expect full cooperation in this matter.”

Johnson is trying to get a confession out of Lee Harvey Oswald, not ask him stuff like who sent you, are there more people, is it a conspiracy. On Friday, Johnson had TWICE told people he thought it was an “international conspiracy,” he told it to a policeman at Parkland Hospital and Gen. Godfrey McHugh had to slap LBJ on Air Force One because LBJ was so hysterical muttering about “conspiracy.” In my opinion, Johnson is acting like a guilty man trying to cover his tracks.

Robert Kennedy, in the fall of 1963, was telling the Washington press corps that it was open season on Lyndon Johnson

LBJ was very aware of this & angry, frightened and concerned


     Here is a good link by Phil Brennan, detailing the pressure that Robert Kennedy was putting on Lyndon Johnson at this time: Phil Brennan wrote this 11/19/2003 – 40 years after the assassination about how Robert Kennedy was telling the Washington press corp it was open season on Lyndon Johnson and his corruption:

“For the most part, the Washington press corps kept the lid on the story - until the
late Bob Humphrey, then the GOP Senate leadership's spokesman, an incredibly gifted strategist and a mentor, asked me to tell the story to the late Delaware Republican Sen. John Williams, a crusader for good government and a crackerjack of an investigator.

Sen. Williams asked me to introduce him to Hill and I did. They got together with some Senate investigators for the GOP minority and Hill told them the whole story, including the part played by Vice President Johnson. Williams got his committee to launch an investigation and the lid came off.

A few days later, the attorney general, Bobby Kennedy, called five of Washington's top reporters into his office and told them it was now open season on Lyndon Johnson. It's OK, he told them, to go after the story they were ignoring out of deference to the administration.

And from that point on until the events in Dallas, Lyndon Baines Johnson's future
looked as if it included a sudden end to his political career and a few years in the slammer. The Kennedys had their knives out and sharpened for him and were determined to draw his political blood - all of it.

In the Senate, the investigation into the Baker case was moving quickly ahead. Even the Democrats were cooperating, thanks to the Kennedys, and an awful lot of really bad stuff was being revealed - until Nov. 22, 1963.

By Nov. 23, all Democrat cooperation suddenly stopped. Lyndon would serve a
term and a half in the White House instead of the slammer, the Baker investigation would peter out and Bobby Baker would serve a short sentence and go free. Dallas accomplished all of that. “

Excellent Spartacus biography on Lyndon Johnson:

LIFE Magazine, being fed damaging info by RFK, was on the verge of running a story on 11/29/63 that would have annihilated Lyndon Johnson’s political career once and for all

Source: James Wagenvoord who in 1963 was the 27 year old assistant to LIFE Magazine’e managing editor; this issue would have been dated 12/6/63 and mailed out 11/29 and 11/30/63 (Friday/Saturday mailing)

James Wagenvoord to John Simkin (in November, 2009):

“I've been reading through you web site and believe that I can add one of the final jigsaw puzzle pieces that affect the timing of JFK's Dallas trip and the nervousness of LBJ during the weeks preceding the killing. At the time I was the 27 year old Editorial business manager and assistant to Life Magazines Executive Editor. Beginning in later summer 1963 the magazine, based upon information fed from Bobby Kennedy and the Justice Department, had been developing a major newsbreak piece concerning Johnson and Bobby Baker. On publication Johnson would have been finished and off the '64 ticket (reason the material was fed to us) and would probably have been facing prison time. At the time LIFE magazine was arguably the most important general news source in the US. The top management of Time Inc. was closely allied with the USA's various intelligence agencies and we were used after by the Kennedy Justice Department as a conduit to the public. Life's coverage of the Hoffa prosecution, and involvement in paying off Justice Department Memphis witnesses was a case in point.

The LBJ/Baker piece was in the final editing stages and was scheduled to break in the issue of the magazine due out the week of November 24 (the magazine would have made it to the newsstands on Nov.26th or 27th). It had been prepared in relative secrecy by a small special editorial team. On Kennedy's death research files and all numbered copies of the nearly print-ready draft were gathered up by my boss (he had been the top editor on the team) and shredded. The issue that was to expose LBJ instead featured the Zapruder film. Based upon our success in syndicating the Zapruder film I became Chief of Time/LIFE editorial services and remained in that job until 1968.”

LIFE Magazine was within days of breaking a major story on Lyndon Johnson that would have been extremely politically damaging to him. By 11/22/63, the political career of Lyndon Johnson was hanging by a thin, thin thread and Robert Kennedy, having told the Washington press corps that it was open season on Johnson, was about to cut it with scissors:

In 1963 Johnson got drawn into political scandals involving Fred Korth, Billie Sol Estes and Bobby Baker. According to James Wagenvoord, the editorial business manager and assistant to Life Magazines Executive Editor, the magazine was working on an article that would have revealed Johnson's corrupt activities. "Beginning in later summer 1963 the magazine, based upon information fed from Bobby Kennedy and the Justice Department, had been developing a major newsbreak piece concerning Johnson and Bobby Baker. On publication Johnson would have been finished and off the 1964 ticket (reason the material was fed to us) and would probably have been facing prison time. At the time LIFE magazine was arguably the most important general news source in the US. The top management of Time Inc. was closely allied with the USA's various intelligence agencies and we were used after by the Kennedy Justice Department as a conduit to the public."

The fact that it was Robert Kennedy who was giving this information to Life Magazine suggests that John F. Kennedy intended to drop Johnson as his vice-president. This is supported by Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy's secretary. In her book, Kennedy and Johnson (1968) she claimed that in November, 1963, Kennedy decided that because of the emerging Bobby Baker scandal he was going to drop Johnson as his running mate in the 1964 election. Kennedy told Lincoln that he was going to replace Johnson with Terry Sanford.

Don B. Reynolds appeared before a secret session of the Senate Rules Committee on 22nd November, 1963. Reynolds told B. Everett Jordan and his committee that Johnson had demanded that he provided kickbacks in return for him agreeing to a life insurance policy arranged by him in 1957. This included a $585 Magnavox stereo. Reynolds also had to pay for $1,200 worth of advertising on KTBC, Johnson's television station in Austin. Reynolds had paperwork for this transaction including a delivery note that indicated the stereo had been sent to the home of Johnson. Reynolds also told of seeing a suitcase full of money which Baker described as a "$100,000 payoff to Johnson for his role in securing the Fort Worth TFX contract".

1) Please carefully read what Harry Truman said in WashPost 12/22/63. Truman wrote and Op-Ed in the Washington Post saying "Limit CIA role to Intelligence" just one month to the day after the JFK assassination. I think it is clear from this column that he thinks the CIA may very well have had something to with the JFK assassination.


2) Please note: Harry Truman's column on the CIA was REMOVED FROM THE AFTERNOON EDITION of the Washington Post that day. Do you think it was because Truman hit some nerves ... and told too much of the truth? I do.  - Robert Morrow   512-306-1510





Newsweek’s Ben Bradlee, a close friend of JFK: Newsweek on 11-22-63 had already physically printed an article on the Bobby Baker scandal and its connections to LBJ:

Ben Bradlee was in the lobby of the National Press Building when he heard the news that John F. Kennedy had been shot. He returned to his office in Newsweek: "Colleagues were crowded around the ticker, dazed, watching the deadly bursts of unbelievable, wrenching news, worsening every few seconds... And then, so suddenly, he was dead. Life changed, forever, in the middle of a nice day, at the end of a good week, in a wonderful year of what looked like an extraordinary decade of promise. It would take months before we would begin to understand how, but the inevitability of wrenching change was plain as tears."

Kennedy had died on a Friday. Bradlee claims that the journal's main article about the Bobby Baker scandal and its links with Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson had already been printed: "Fridays are the beginning of the end of a week in the life of a news magazine. The covers have long since been printed, waiting for the rest of the book. All the features - the back of the book-have been edited and typeset. The leads of the news sections are being written, edited, rewritten, and rewritten again. The printed cover of the impending scandal involving Bobby Baker, LBJ's protégé, was scrapped. The entire magazine went out the window and we began all over again."


Robert Kennedy was feeding damaging information on Lyndon Johnson's corruption to the Senate Rules Committee in fall, 1963, in attempt to destroy LBJ




            In a series of interviews for this book, Burkett Van Kirk, who was chief counsel in 1963 for the Republican minority on the Rules Committee, told me of his personal knowledge of Bobby Kennedy's direct intervention. "Bobby was feeding information to 'whispering Willie'" - the nickname for Senator John Williams. "They" - the Kennedy brothers, Van Kirk said - "were dumping Johnson.." Williams, as he did earlier with Donald Reynolds's information about Lyndon Johnson, relayed the Kennedy materials to the senior Republican on the Rules Committe, Carl Curtis. The attorney general thus was secretly dealing with Williams, and Williams was dealing secretly with Curtis and Van Kirk. The scheming was necessary, Van Kirk told me, because he and his fellow Republicans understood that a full-fledged investigation into Bobby Baker could lead to the vice president. They also understood, he said, that the chances of getting such an investigation where slim at best. The Democrats had an overwhelming advantage in the Senate - sixty-seven to thirty-three - and in every committee. The three Republicans on the ten member Rules Committee, Van Kirk said, had little power. "We never won one vote to even call a witness," he told me. The investigation into Bobby Baker and Lyndon Johnson would have to be done in a traditional manner - by newspaper leak.


            Van Kirk, who was named after his grandfather Senator E. J. Burkett of Nebraska, said that Bobby Kennedy eventually designated a Justice Department lawyer that fall to serve as an intermediary to the minority staff; he began supplying the Republicans with documents about Johnson and his financial dealings. The lawyer, Van Kirk told me, "used to come up to the Senate and hang around me like a dark cloud. It took him about a week or ten days to, one, find out what I didn't know, and two, give it to me." Some of the Kennedy-supplied documents were kept in Williams's office safe, Van Kirk said, and never shown to him. There was no doubt of Bobby Kennedy's purpose in dealing with the Republicans, Van Kirk said: "To get rid of Johnson. To dump him. I am as sure of that the sun comes up in the east."


[Seymour Hersh, "The Dark Side of Camelot," pp. 406-407]


Drew Pearson was going to drop a Bunker Buster Bomb column on Lyndon Johnson on Sunday, November 24th with a focus on LBJ’s ties to Bobby Baker and also LBJ’s involvement with the TFX fighter jet scandal


            Drew Pearson’s column by 1969 was syndicated in over 600 papers with a readership of 60 million people. Pearson also had a weekly radio show “Washington-Merry-Go-Round” that was nationally syndicated. Just before the JFK assassination Pearson was going to drop a bunker buster bomb column on LBJ that would have exploded in Sunday papers on doorsteps all over the East Coast by 7AM Eastern time, or within 43 hours of the JFK assassination.



            “On the afternoon of Thursday, November 21, less than twenty-four hours before the assassination, Pearson met with Bobby Baker in Washington. It was their first face-to-face conversation, and the Senate-aide-turned-lobbyist had dirt to share. “Bobby confirmed the fact that the president had been mixed up with a lot of women,” Pearson wrote in his personal diary. One of Kennedy’s women- a prominent aide to Jacqueline Kennedy- “had her bed wired for sound by her landlady when Jack was sleeping with her,” the columnist wrote.

            Johnson was in Pearson’s crosshairs in the Baker story. That very Sunday- November 24- Pearson’s column was due to target the vice president over his financial ties to the lobbyist. In his diary, Pearson wrote that it would be “quite a devastating story” involving Johnson, Baker, and possible corruption in a $7 billion fighter-jet contract handed to General Dynamics, a Texas firm.”


[Philip Shenon, A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of The Kennedy Assassination, pp. 43-44]


Top LBJ aide George Reedy: Lyndon Johnson was Obsessed with Robert Kennedy’s efforts to Destroy Him



"This occurred when he was vice president and obsessed with the idea that Bobby Kennedy was directing an anti-LBJ campaign. His elevation to the presidency made absolutely no difference. Brush after brush took place with the journalists who, in the early days of his administration, accepted him as a miracle worker to be treated with downright reverence. Eventually, however, his conviction that they were opposed to him created an opposition- always the outcome of paranoia. He did not attribute this to his own shortcomings but to the machinations of the man he regarded as his arch foe. At this stage of the game, Bobby was helpless to do him much mischief but LBJ still believed that there was a plot for which the press was the principal instrument." [George Reedy, Lyndon B. Johnson: A Memoir, p. 70]


"In a very important sense, LBJ was a man who had been deprived of the normal joys of life. He knew how to struggle; he knew how to outfox political opponents; he knew how to make money; he knew how to swagger. But he did not know how to live. He had been programmed for business and for business only and outside of his programming he was lost." [George Reedy, Lyndon B. Johnson: A Memoir, p. 81]


"I never fully understood this or other similar episodes. In the back of his mind, it is possible that he believed these visits were inspired by Bobby Kennedy as part of a "plot" to delete the name LBJ from the ticket in 1964. This had become an obsession with him- a conviction that peopled the world with agents of the president's brother all seeking to do him in. Someone- I never found out who- very actively fed this belief and kept him in a perpetual state of anxiety. This reached major proportions with the outbreak of the Billy Sol Estes and Bobby Baker scandals....

There was absolutely nothing to keep Johnson's name in the Billy Sol Estes story except the LBJ refusal to deal with the press. He covered up when there was nothing to cover and thereby created the suspicion that he was involved somehow. His reasoning was simple: The whole thing existed as a Bobby Kennedy plot and to talk about it to the press was to help Bobby Kennedy.

About the same thing happened in the Bobby Baker scandal except that in this instance he was really close to the central figure in the expose. He had considered Bobby as virtually a son and succeeded in promoting him to be secretary of the Senate Majority at an age when Bobby should have been in knee britches."

[George Reedy, Lyndon B. Johnson: A Memoir, pp. 134-135]


"But Johnson refused to accept the obvious explanation. He insisted that it stayed in the press because of conscious pressure from Bobby Kennedy, who, he claimed, was holding daily briefings with the sole purpose of knifing LBJ in the back. He was so convinced of the existence of these meetings that I made a personal effort to check on them myself. There was not the least bit of evidence that they were taking place or had taken place. I am not a master spy but it is hardly likely that during that period the attorney general of the United States could have engaged in such an organized effort without one of my newspaper friends tipping me off.

This viewpoint did not impress Johnson in the slightest. He merely said I was "naive" and that he would demonstrate the truth to me. The next time the two of us were together with a correspondent, he lectured the man on how wrong it was to ask stooge questions and then said: "I know all about those briefings downtown." It became apparent at once the correspondent did not know not know about them but that did not stop LBJ. He continued his lectures to other correspondents- a practice that led to some speculation as to his mental stability. Fortunately, the speculation did not appear in print.

These episodes were merely ludicrious. Much more serious was his interpretation of all his relations with the administration as involved with "plots." He resisted- to the point of hysteria- the round-the-world trip which later became famous for his discovery of Bashir, the camel driver, in Karachi.... He raved, at least to me, that Bobby Kennedy was trying to set him up.

[George Reedy, Lyndon B. Johnson: A Memoir, pp. 136-137]

"Those of us who had to deal with what few substantive matters characterized the vice presidency found it increasingly difficult to secure decisions from him. The consumption of booze increased as did the number of hours he would spend in bed at home just staring at the ceiling and growling at anyone who came into the room... There was some demon within the man himself that would have operated in any position short of the presidency."

[Reedy, pp. 139-140]


President Lyndon Johnson was extremely worried about the Bobby Baker scandal on 2/4/64. Imagine how LBJ felt as a powerless eunuch in the fall, 1963, as Robert Kennedy was within days of  destroying him with the exploding Bobby Baker scandal


[Noel Twyman, "Bloody Treason: the Assassination of John F. Kennedy," pp. 807-808.


            Illustrating Johnson's fear of revelation of the Bobby Baker scandal, David Scheim wrote:


            The hush on Baker may be explained by a conversation between Johnson and House Speaker John McCormack as reported in The Washington Payoff by ex-Washington lobbyist Robert Winter-Berger. On February 4, 1964, Winter-Berger was discussing public relations with McCormack in McCormack's Washington office. President Johnson then barged in and began ranting hysterically, Winter-Berger reported, oblivious to the lobbyist's presence. During his long tirade, Johnson said:

            "John, that son of a bitch [Bobby Baker] is going to ruin me. If that cocksucker talks, I'm gonna land in jail....I practically raised that motherfucker, and now he's gonna make me the first President of the United States to spend the last days of his life behind bars."


When Johnson finally noticed Winter-Berger's presence, McCormack explained that the visiting lobbyist was a close friend of Nat Voloshen, who was a Mob fixer of enormous influence. Johnson then became enthusiastic, exclaiming, "Nat can get to Bobby. They're friends. Have Nat get to Bobby." When Winter-Berger volunteered that he had an appointment with Voloshen the next day, Johnson told Winter-Berger:


            "Tell Nat that I want him to get in touch with Bobby Baker as soon as possible- tomorrow if he can. Tell Nat to tell Bobby that I will give him a million dollars if he takes this rap. Bobby must not talk. I'll see to it that he gets a million-dollar settlement."


Given a subsequent scandal involving intercessions for Mobsters from McCormack's office at Voloshen's behest, the recounted tirade would hardly have been exceptional in that office ..."


[Noel Twyman, "Bloody Treason: the Assassination of John F. Kennedy," pp. 807-808. Also Robert N. Winter-Berger, "The Washington Payoff: An Insider's View of Corruption in Government," pp. 61-68]


Lyndon Johnson to Speaker McCormack on 11/29/63: “Just keep them from investigating!”

We don’t want to be testifying,” Johnson said to Speaker of the House John McCormack, “and some fellow comes up from Dallas and says, “I think Khrushchev planned this whole thing and he got our President assassinated.”... You can see what that’ll lead us to, right quick. … You take care of the House of Representatives for me.”

“How am I going to take care of them?” McCormack asked.

“Just keep them from investigating!” was Johnson’s decisive answer.


[Beschloss, Taking Charge, p. 62]



Bobby Baker (LBJ’s right hand man and bag man) told Don Reynolds on 1/20/61 that the s.o.b. John Kennedy would never live out his term and that he would die a violent death

Bobby Baker, one of Lyndon Johnson’s closest associates, said this during the inauguration of John Kennedy

(11) Edward Jay Epstein, Esquire Magazine (December, 1966)

In January of 1964 the Warren Commission learned that Don B. Reynolds, insurance agent and close associate of Bobby Baker, had been heard to say the FBI knew that Johnson was behind the assassination. When interviewed by the FBI, he denied this. But he did recount an incident during the swearing in of Kennedy in which Bobby Baker said words to the effect that the s.o.b. would never live out his term and that he would die a violent death.

JFK despised Lyndon Johnson reports JFK's close friend Charles Spalding


            Charles Spalding, Kennedy's old friend, may not have known the president's plans for 1964, but he did know Jack Kennedy. "Jack didn't like Lyndon," Spalding told me in a 1997 interview. "I know. He was just awful - so jealous, so disagreeable and ugly." What's worse, Spalding said, he and the president knew that Johnson wasn't  loyal - "he really was anti-him [Kennedy]"


[ Seymour Hersh, "The Dark Side of Camelot," pp. 407-408]



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