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

When Nixon muttered to White House aides that he was the victim of a conspiracy of Jews, intellectuals and Ivy Leaguers, “arrogant” people he said placed themselves above the law, he did so to justify arrogantly placing himself above the law.
The Conversation
The Biden administration recently agreed to release roughly 1,500 files from the National Archives pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and though some 58 years have passed since that grim November day, many of the records still remain sealed. Why? Daily Kos recently interviewed Ken Hughes, a historian and expert on presidential secrets, to take his pulse on why records on the assassination of the nation’s 35th president are still shrouded in mystery and moreover, what that means for governmental transparency.
Ken Hughes Daily Kos
In the fall of 1971, Richard Nixon had reason to be optimistic. The long sought China Summit had just been announced, for the following year, to great (and deserved) acclaim. Vietnam, to be sure, remained an issue, but the continuing troop withdrawal had reduced its political drag at home. With his re-election campaign now looming, the polls showed him well out in front of the presumed Democratic front-runners. But all this good news had little effect on Nixon’s deep-rooted obsession with a growing list of real and perceived adversaries at home. And so, even as the war in Vietnam slowly abated, the war at home only escalated and expanded, against liberals, anti-war activists, Jews, East Coast elites – anyone perceived, however remotely, as a threat to his presidency. “Lashing out was Nixon’s nature,” Jack Farrell tells Kurt Andersen. “His actions were reflexive, heedless of the peril” which lay ahead, and which would ultimately drive him from office.
Ken Hughes Nixon at War Podcast
Miller Center research specialist Ken Hughes, on the Nixon at War podcast, Episode 1, “October Surprise.” Hughes has spent two decades mining these and other White House Tapes.
Ken Hughes Nixon at War
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)