Billy Graham has seen US leaders laid bare, from skinny-dipping with LBJ to long walks on the beach with GWB. A new book details the ailing 88-year-old preacher’s rendezvous with presidents past, including counseling Ford to pardon Nixon and advising Hillary Clinton to look past Monica Lewinsky. Graham’s refusal to be a party booster has lent him his independent spiritual voice, Bloomberg reports.
The swimming session came shortly after Johnson took office, as the men talked of healing a country torn over JFK’s assassination. Only Carter held out in befriending the holy man; Graham even elicited emotion from Nixon, hugging the future president at his mother’s funeral. But perhaps his most critical work was the 1985 waterfront conversion of the elder Bush’s heir.