President John F. Kennedy was so fearful of a possible Lyndon Johnson presidency that he had begun plotting to prevent LBJ from succeeding him before Kennedy’s death in 1963, according to ABC News.
The revelation is one of many contained in interviews taped decades ago with Jackie Kennedy, which will be the focus of a two-hour Diane Sawyer special set to air next week on ABC. The tapes have been kept under wraps and have reportedly never been heard publicly until now.
The former first lady says in the interview: “Jack said it to me sometimes. He said, ‘Oh, God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president?’"
The tapes also reveal Jackie Kennedy’s grim views on civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. In a separate piece, ABC News quotes her as saying, "I just can’t see a picture of Martin Luther King without thinking, you know, that man’s terrible."
Her assessment of King, the story says, was shaped by a series of secret wiretaps of King set up by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. The story reports: “Hoover had told President Kennedy that King tried to arrange a sex party while in town for the March on Washington, and told Robert Kennedy that King had made derogatory comments during the president’s funeral, Mrs. Kennedy recalled.”
Some historians have accused Hoover of concocting evidence in an effort to destroy King.
The special, “Jacqueline Kennedy: In Her Own Words,” is set to air Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.