Jackie tapes ‘do not link JFK killing to Johnson’

ABC News last night said there is no truth to a report that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis believed then US vice-president Lyndon Johnson was involved in the assassination of her husband, President John F Kennedy.

The claim was made by the Daily Mail on its website.

The newspaper cited tape recordings which it said would show that the former first lady felt that Johnson, who became president, was part of a plot to assassinate Kennedy.

Johnson succeeded to the presidency following the assassination of John F Kennedy. He completed Kennedy’s term and was elected president in his own right, winning by a large margin in the 1964 presidential election.

ABC News, which has already announced plans for a programme featuring new tapes to be aired next month, said the report was baseless.

“The tabloid reports about the content of the tapes are totally erroneous. ABC News isn’t releasing any content from those tapes until mid-September, at which point it will be clear how off base these reports are.”

The interview tapes were recorded by historian Arthur Schlesinger within months of Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, and had been sealed in a vault at the Kennedy Library in Boston.

The Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination, found that Lee Harvey Oswald was solely responsible for Kennedy’s death.

Jacqueline Kennedy, who later married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, had ordered that the tapes not be released until 50 years after her death. She died in 1994.

However, her daughter, Caroline, agreed to release the recordings early.

“The actual content of the tapes provide unique and important insight into our recent past from one of the most fascinating and influential First Ladies in American history,” ABC said in a statement.

The Daily Mail reported that the former first lady was convinced the then vice president, along with businessmen in the South, had orchestrated the Dallas shooting.

ABC executives claimed the tapes’ revelations were “explosive”.

The Daily Mail said the tapes include details of JFK having an affair with a 19-year-old White House intern, with his wife even claiming that she found the woman’s underwear in their bedroom.

It was also suggested the tapes reveal that Onassis also had affairs — one with Hollywood star William Holden and another with Fiat founder Gianni Agnelli.

Jackie O, as the world came to know her after she married Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis five years after the assassination, ordered that the tapes should not be revealed until 50 years after her death.

But although she died from cancer aged 64 in May 1994, her daughter, Caroline Kennedy, has agreed to release them to US television network giant ABC.

A spokesman of the ABC confirmed that the tapes’ “explosive” contents would be aired in a two-hour TV special.

“The Jackie tapes are, in effect, Caroline’s trade-off for ABC dropping The Kennedys series,” the Daily Express quoted a source as saying.

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