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Document shows Russian leader claimed influence on U.S. Presidential election in 1960

Los Angeles, CA – WEBWIRE

Document shows Russian leader claimed influence on U.S. Presidential election in 1960
A document published by BACM Research’s records Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s claim that his actions prevented the 1960 presidential election from swaying to Republican candidate Vice-President Richard Nixon. The document can be seen at:
In the memo sent from the American Embassy in Moscow covering preparations for a meeting with Khrushchev, the Khrushchev-Kennedy Vienna conferences. It mentions Khrushchev’s claim that he avoided releasing American military servicemembers captured before the election, because that might swing the race to Nixon. Khrushchev’s also mentioned his dislike of Nixon.(1)
On 1 July 1960, an American RB-47 reconnaissance aircraft flew out of the British Royal Air Force base Brize Norton in Oxfordshire England. While flying over the Barents Sea in international airspace, a Soviet MiG jet buzzed the RB-47 from above and behind, then began firing. The six-engine RB-47 jet was knocked out of the sky. Two of the six crewmembers survived and were recovered by a Soviet fishing trawler.  The two Americans were held captive in Lubyanka. This was a contentious issue in Soviet-American relations during the final six months of the Eisenhower administration. Despite pressure from the U.S. to return the airmen, they were not released until soon after John F. Kennedy was sworn in as president in January 1961. Upon their release, much public praise was given to JFK.
A diplomat at the American Embassy in Moscow noted that Khrushchev said he had deliberately not done so until after the election as earlier release would have been exploited by Nixon and in his opinion might have changed the outcome of the race.
Khrushchev is reported to have said he did not like Nixon and thought President Kennedy was of a much higher caliber.
Khrushchev claimed that the American Ambassador to the United Nations, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., later Nixon’s Vice-President candidate, said that relations with the U.S. would be better under Nixon than they were under Eisenhower.
It can be speculated that Khrushchev may have preferred the younger and less experienced Kennedy to be his revival. But Khrushchev also seemed to have a genuine dislike of Nixon, witnessed in the Nixon-Khrushchev “kitchen debate,” of July 24, 1959.
In a 1965 oral history interview conducted by the John F. Kennedy Presidential library, Kennedy press secretary Pierre Salinger recounted a meeting with Khrushchev. Salinger says the Soviet leader said, “Mr. Nixon reminds me of a herring salesman who would sell spoiled herring as the real thing.” (2)
(1) “Memo sent from American Embassy in Moscow on meeting with Soviet Nikita Khrushchev ahead of the Khrushchev-Kennedy Vienna conferences, ”
(2) Pierre E.G. Salinger, recorded interview by Theodore H. White, August 10, 1965, John F. Kennedy Library Oral History Program.


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