Tag: Patrick Kinna

Churchill’s Naked Encounter

Churchill’s Naked Encounter

“The Prime Min­is­ter of Great Britain has noth­ing to hide from the Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States.” **

[More like­ly: “You see, Mr. Pres­i­dent, I have noth­ing to hide.”]

This was alleged­ly stat­ed by Churchill dur­ing his vis­it to the White House fol­low­ing Pearl Har­bor in Decem­ber 1941, accord­ing to Churchill’s body­guard, Wal­ter Thomp­son, and one of his sec­re­taries, Patrick Kin­na, on the strength of which I includ­ed it as like­ly in Churchill By Him­self.

The sto­ry goes that Roo­sevelt, inspired to call the new world body  he hoped to orga­nize after the war the “Unit­ed Nations,” wheeled him­self into Churchill’s room, find­ing the PM, as Har­ry Hop­kins put it, “stark naked and gleam­ing pink from his bath.” But Hop­kins was not present; he had this sec­ond­hand.…

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“You see, Mr. President, I have nothing to hide”

“You see, Mr. President, I have nothing to hide”

Obit­u­ar­ies for Churchill’s wartime sec­re­tary Patrick Kin­na report that he saw a naked Churchill greet Franklin Roo­sevelt at the White House, say­ing he had “noth­ing to hide from the Pres­i­dent.” Con­rad Black in Franklin Delano Roo­sevelt: Cham­pi­on of Free­dom has Churchill deny­ing he ever appeared to the Pres­i­dent com­plete­ly undressed. My guess is that the obit­u­ary writ­ers are read­ing more into Kinna’s sto­ry about “noth­ing to hide” than was actu­al­ly there. Do you know the full sto­ry? —M.T.

Roo­sevelt and Churchill, Casablan­ca, 1943

A sto­ry like this is very sus­cep­ti­ble to being embell­ished or obfus­cat­ed through count­less recitals by inti­mates (and friends of inti­mates) over the years.…

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