KGB files show that, in January 1984, Carter approached Dobrynin in person. In an effort to derail Ronald Reagan’s defense buildup, Carter asked for Soviet help in defeating Reagan in his bid for reelection. It is not known whether the Soviets gave him what he wanted.
But Carter, Kennedy, and Hammer weren’t the only Democrat who sought Soviet political help. Declassified KGB files show that, in 1984, House Speaker “Tip” O’Neill (D-MA) privately told Dobrynin that it was in “everyone’s best interests” if the Soviets would help Democrats keep “that demagogue Reagan” from being re-elected. O’Neill warned Dobrynin that the “primitive instincts” of this “dangerous man” would plunge the world into war.
It must have amazed Dobrynin that those prominent liberals - Ted Kennedy, Armand Hammer, Jimmy Carter, and Tip O’Neill – all viewed Reagan as more dangerous than any Communist dictator.
Historian Paul Kengor observed that the Soviet archives showed “the lengths to which some on the political left… were willing to go to stop Ronald Reagan.” In his book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism, Professor Kengor quotes the text of a May 14, 1983 memorandum uncovered in the declassified Soviet archives by Herbert Romerstein, a well-known authority on the Venona Papers and the Soviet archives.
- Kennedy asked Andropov to
consider inviting him (Kennedy) to Moscow for a personal meeting in July
1983. The primary purpose of the
meeting would be to provide Soviet officials with “talking points” related
to problems of nuclear disarmament so that they’d be “better prepared and
more convincing during appearances in the USA.”
- Kennedy felt that, in order to influence the American people, it would be helpful to have Chairman Andropov submit to a series of television interviews with American TV networks. He felt that a direct appeal by the General Secretary of the Communist Party to the American people would, without doubt, “attract a great deal of attention and interest in the country.”