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

The New Hampshire Gazette notes Miller Center researcher and journalist Ken Hughes' book, Chasing Shadows, in an editorial about the U.S. planned withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Ken Hughes The New Hampshire Gazette
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will today send the Senate an article of impeachment accusing Donald Trump of inciting this month's riot on the Capitol building, which left five people dead. That will formally trigger the first-ever impeachment trial of a former president. Democrats say the trial will open the second week of February. But some Republicans have already signalled that Democrats will struggle to secure Donald Trump's conviction, pushing back with both political and constitutional arguments. FEATURED: Ken Hughes, expert on abuses of presidential power, University of Virginia's Miller Centre.
Ken Hughes ABC (Australia)
Schoolchildren can easily grasp Trump’s high crime, in contrast to the complex, Machiavellian plot immortalized on the tape that led to Nixon’s downfall. It will be harder to explain to them why congressional Republicans decided to hold Nixon accountable, but not Trump.
The Conversation
After Richard Nixon won the 1968 presidential election, he got to work on a Republican promise to “attack the root causes of poverty,” agreeing to support a basic income payment, tied to work. “But, you know, it cost a lot so he really wasn’t for it and just expected it to die in committee, and it did,” said Ken Hughes, a historian at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
Ken Hughes Marketplace
The bet is inspired by Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign, the first in which law and order was a major theme. "It worked for him, because Democrats had controlled the White House and the two houses of Congress for eight years and there was a significant degree of disturbance for many years," says Ken Hughes, the Nixon-era expert at the University of Virginia.
Ken Hughes O Globo
Watergate expert Ken Hughes is interviewed by France2 Television.
Ken Hughes France2 TV