Experts

Ken Hughes

Fast Facts

  • Bob Woodward called Hughes "one of America's foremost experts on secret presidential recordings"
  • Has spent two decades mining the Secret White House Tapes
  • Expertise on Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Secret White House Tapes, abuses of presidential power, Watergate, Vietnam War

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • American Defense and Security
  • Governance
  • Leadership
  • Political Parties and Movements
  • Politics
  • The Presidency

Bob Woodward has called Ken Hughes “one of America's foremost experts on secret presidential recordings, especially those of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.” Hughes has spent two decades mining the Secret White House Tapes and unearthing their secrets. As a journalist writing in the pages of the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, and Boston Globe Magazine, and, since 2000, as a researcher with the Miller Center, Hughes’s work has illuminated the uses and abuses of presidential power involved in (among other things) the origins of Watergate, Jimmy Hoffa’s release from federal prison, and the politics of the Vietnam War. 

Hughes has been interviewed by the New York Times, CBS News, CNN, PBS NewsHour, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and other news organizations. He is the author of Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate and Fatal Politics: The Nixon Tapes, the Vietnam War and the Casualties of Reelection.

Hughes is currently at work on a book about President John F. Kennedy’s hidden role in the coup plot that resulted in the overthrow and assassination of another president, Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam. 

 

Ken Hughes News Feed

For Ken Hughes, a Watergate expert with the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, Cohen’s testimony is “immediately reminiscent” of Dean’s, including the attempts to discredit the witness ahead of the hearing. “The Nixon administration tried to frame Dean as the source of the Watergate cover up, [while he was] more of a point man operating under Nixon’s most powerful aides, and they were guided by Nixon himself,” Hughes told ThinkProgress.
Ken Hughes ThinkProgress
Nixon’s allies in Congress levied some of the same criticism against Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox that Republicans use today about Mueller, explains Ken Hughes, an expert on Watergate at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
Ken Hughes TIME
“In everything he did, Nixon tried to master the fundamentals,” Ken Hughes, a historian with the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, and author of the 2015 book Fatal Politics: The Nixon Tapes, the Vietnam War, and the Casualties of Reelection, says in an email. “When he wanted to learn poker in the Navy, he studied the game before risking any of his money, spending hours and days with the best players he could find, listening to their lectures, learning their moves, playing practice games with no stakes.
Ken Hughes History.com
“He was basically Nixon’s bagman,” says Ken Hughes, a research specialist at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. “He got money where Nixon wanted money spent. He was the source of the money for the slush fund that paid for sabotage and spying activities on the Democratic presidential candidates in 1972.”
Ken Hughes History.com
Ken Hughes is a historian of the presidency (specializing in secret White House recordings) at the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. As Nancy Pelosi gaveled in the House of Representatives on Thursday, I asked him what we might expect from Congress in 2019, what lessons we might learn from previous government shut downs, Donald Trump’s idiosyncratic views in defense of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and what we should remember from the beginning of Richard Nixon’s administration, 50 years ago this month. That time period was covered in Hughes’ 2014 book, Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair, and the Origins of Watergate. We talked by telephone on Thursday.
Ken Hughes The Score
For a White House that has frequently drawn parallels to the turmoil of the Watergate era, Cohen’s sentencing adds one more tick to the list. Herbert W. Kalmbach, President Richard Nixon’s personal lawyer, received a prison sentence on June 17, 1974, exactly two years after the Watergate break-in, for funneling hush money to Watergate defendants. “In Watergate, he’s the money, the bagman” says Ken Hughes, an expert on Watergate at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs, who spoke to TIME as part of a presidential-history partnership between TIME History and the Miller Center.
Ken Hughes TIME