The tactics of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in digging up dirt on perceived enemies has been exceeded in "paranoia" and "low political tactics" by President Donald Trump's team, former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson writes in Tuesday's Guardian.
Abramson cited an Observer report about Trump aides practicing opposition research against two Obama administration officials who led the negotiations on the Iran deal by digging into their personal lives.
"[It] recalls the worst of Nixonian tactics, including treating principled political adversaries as dangerous enemies to be destroyed," Abramson says.
"More broadly, Trump's mad desire to denigrate Obama shows his fundamental insecurity. It calls to mind his ridiculous, early lie that his inaugural crowd was bigger than his predecessor.
"Insecurity is also partly what drove Johnson and Nixon crazy about the Kennedys and their need to tarnish the halo of the assassinated JFK. They couldn't stand the country's love affair with its slain leader, just as Trump can't stand attention being focused on the legacy of Obama, which looks better and better every day that Trump is in office."
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