‘It Was My Father’s First Instinct’ to Believe the CIA Killed JFK: Robert Kennedy Jr.

‘It Was My Father’s First Instinct’ to Believe the CIA Killed JFK: Robert Kennedy Jr.
Robert Kennedy Jr. attends the "Anthropocene: The Human Epoch" Premiere during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival at Temple Theater in Park City, Utah, on Jan. 25, 2019. (Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Ryan Morgan

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, said his father’s first reaction to the news of the 35th president’s assassination was to question the CIA about its potential involvement.

In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night, Kennedy recalled the day his uncle was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. He said the first call his father, Robert F. Kennedy—who was the U.S. Attorney General at the time—made was to a CIA desk officer in Langley, Virginia, to ask, “Did your people do this?”

Kennedy said his next call was to Enrique Ruiz-Williams, who was one of the Cuban leaders involved in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, which was organized by the CIA. Kennedy said his father also called then-CIA Director John McCone to pose the same question: “Was it our people who did this to my brother?”

This is not the first time this week Kennedy, who is now running for president as a Democrat, publicly alleged CIA involvement in his uncle’s assassination. In an interview with John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM’s “Cats Roundtable“ on Sunday, Kennedy said, ”There is overwhelming evidence that the CIA was involved in his murder. I think it’s beyond a reasonable doubt at this point.”

Kennedy doubled down on the accusation during his Fox News appearance on Monday and said his views aligned with those of his father, who was assassinated five years after his uncle on June 6, 1968.

“It was my father’s first instinct that the agency had killed his brother,” Kennedy told Hannity.

JFK Assassination Controversy

The JFK assassination has been the subject of decades of speculation and theorizing, including claims that the CIA, then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, the mafia, agents of the Soviet Union, or a combination of organizations played a role.

The federal government concluded in its Warren Commission Report that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin and that he acted alone.

Oswald was arrested about two hours after the JFK assassination. Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby two days later. Ruby, who was an alleged Chicago mob associate, was later convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Ruby appealed the sentence and was scheduled to get a new trial in February of 1967 but was diagnosed with lung cancer and died of a pulmonary embolism on Jan. 3 of that year.

During his Fox News interview on Monday, Kennedy cast doubt on the Warren Commission findings, noting that former CIA Director Allen Dulles had been on the commission. JFK had replaced Dulles a few months after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion.

“The Warren Commission was run by Allen Dulles, who was the head of the CIA, whom my uncle fired,” Kennedy said. “And then [he] insinuated himself onto the Warren Commission and essentially ran the Warren Commission and kept this evidence from the Warren Commissioners.”

Kennedy noted subsequent congressional investigations of the JFK assassination conflicted with the Warren Commission conclusions and raised the possibility of a broader assassination conspiracy.

The CIA has long denied any involvement in the JFK assassination. A 2001 article (pdf) shared by the agency credits Orleans Parish, Louisiana District Attorney Jim Garrison with mainstreaming the idea of CIA and government involvement in the assassination and argues Garrison’s theories were themselves fed by Soviet-linked publications spreading disinformation. The 2001 article said “unfounded assertions of CIA complicity were bolstered inadvertently” by subsequent congressional investigations.
In 2014, the CIA decided to declassify a report by CIA historian David Robarge, which alleges McCone—Dulles’s replacement as the head of the CIA—withheld information from the Warren Commission as part of a “benign cover-up.” Robarge’s report states this cover-up was meant to keep the Warren Commission from learning more about the CIA’s activities in Cuba, including its plans to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro with the help of the Mafia.

The CIA told Politico that it released Robarge’s report “to highlight misconceptions about the CIA’s connection to JFK’s assassination,” and show that the CIA’s withholding of information from the Warren Commission was not meant to conceal an agency link to the president’s assassination.

NTD News reached out to the CIA for further comment, but did not receive a response by the time this article was published.