Richard Nixon was a booze-ridden insomniac who told the new director of the FBI to be as ruthless as if he were a Nazi storm-trooper in a bid to win his loyalty.

A new book reveals that the former President demanded that L. Patrick Gray be ‘brutal, tough and respected’ so that he could cover up his secrets.

Nixon invoked the image of German soldiers in WWII who threatened to shoot an entire town if they came under sniper fire.

In their first official meeting Nixon also explicitly stated he needed Gray to lie for him and be able to ‘do something and deny (it) on a stack of Bibles’.

The former President also drank so much and slept so little that he once randomly started planning his own funeral in front of his most trusted aides.

The unflattering portrait is recounted in ‘One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon’, by author Tim Weiner.

He studies thousands of government documents declassified between 2007 and last year to paint a picture of Nixon as paranoid, power hungry and corrupt.

In Weiner’s view: ‘The truth was not in him; secrecy and deception were his touchstones’.

Nixon suffered from severe insomnia and would go for days with a few hours of sleep and in 1970, the worst year of his first term, he ‘dealt with it at night by drinking’.

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