The presidency of Richard Nixon will be forever associated with the black mark of the Watergate scandal, and has influenced the way millions of Americans perceive his legacy.
In the third part of The Daily Caller’s interview with Pat Buchanan — who was one of Nixon’s senior aides and his new book “The Greatest Comeback” talks about his time working for the 37th president — the famous political commentator takes issue with how the incident has been portrayed and how many historians fail to mention the unsavory tactics that Democrats like Lyndon B. Johnson and the Kennedys used against political foes.
One of the most famous victims of the harassment committed under their respective administrations was Martin Luther King, Jr.
“They shouldn’t have done it,” Buchanan stated in reference to Watergate.
“But that was routine. Take a look at what the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson did to Martin Luther King. Wiretapped him, surveyed him, got all of his material, feeding it to the press, and the FBI sending letters to him suggesting suicide,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan is referencing the FBI’s surveillance of Dr. King that was personally signed off by then Attorney General Robert Kennedy in 1963, approved by John F. Kennedy, and continued under the administration of LBJ.
He also mentioned how Johnson allegedly used FBI agents to suppress black Freedom Democrats at the party’s convention to further support his assertion that Democrat presidents were just as prone to using dirty tactics against political opponents.
But Buchanan did not say the wrong actions of previous administrations justified the wiretapping undertaken by members of the Nixon camp.
“It was a stupid thing to do, the Watergate thing, and I don’t know why they did it,” Buchanan said. “It just never mad sense.”
There was one scandal that Buchanan thought made a hilarious comparison to the scandals of the Nixon White House.
“The NSA is a little broader than wiretapping!” Buchanan said while laughing at the comparison between the scandal surrounding the NSA’s surveillance program and Watergate.
He also stated that the NSA serves a national security function, while the wiretapping associated with Watergate was related to campaign politics.