The Nixon Tapes and Donald Trump

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"Perhaps the most important similarity between Nixon and Trump is that each trusts no one more than he trusts himself. That led Nixon to record more than three thousand hours of his conversations and telephone calls secretly, so that he alone had the complete record of what was said in his presence. I suspect that if Nixon’s tapes had not played a starring role in his downfall, he would have retired to California as planned and wrote his Churchillian multi-volume memoirs. Or, if he had not taped at all, odds are he would have completed his second term. It was not until the revelation that he had taped that we could satisfy Senator Howard Baker Jr.’s admonition to discover “what did the president know and when did he know it.” Taping was the key; the tapes showed what Nixon knew and when he knew it."


This article was originally published on the Oxford University Press blog.


Oxford University Press