I have heard many things about how corrupt US President Richard Nixon was, but I was taken aback when I read the headline of the Daily Mail website. Tom Leonard reports on the new book Nixon’s Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America’s Most Troubled President by Don Fulsom and the allegations Fulsom makes of Nixon’s relationship with Charles ‘Bebe’ Rebozo.
He carpet-bombed Cambodia, spewed out anti-Semitic slurs and crude misogynistic jokes in the White House and smeared his political opponents with ruthless ‘dirty tricks’ campaigns.
And, of course, he lied to his country about his involvement in the Watergate scandal and went down in history as America’s shiftiest, darkest President.
Given everything that Richard Nixon has been accused of, it’s difficult to believe there could be any more skeletons left in his cupboard. But it seems there are.
A new biography by Don Fulsom, a veteran Washington reporter who covered the Nixon years, suggests the 37th U.S. President had a serious drink problem, beat his wife and — by the time he was inaugurated in 1969 — had links going back two decades to the Mafia, including with New Orleans godfather Carlos Marcello, then America’s most powerful mobster.
Yet the most extraordinary claim is that the homophobic Nixon may have been gay himself. If true, it would provide a fascinating insight into the motivation and behaviour of a notoriously secretive politician.