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Reagan Testimony on Iran Won't Be Tape-Recorded

January 22, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — Officials will not tape or release President Reagan's testimony next week when he meets with the Tower Commission investigating the role of the National Security Council in the Iran arms- contra scandal, a White House spokesman said today.

But, Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speakes told reporters, note takers will be on hand when Reagan is interviewed at 11 a.m. Monday in the White House by former Sen. John Tower (R-Tex.) and his two panel members, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and former Secretary of State Edmund S. Muskie.

David M. Abshire, named by Reagan as a special counselor to coordinate information on the scandal, and White House counsel Peter Wallison also will be present.

Speakes told reporters that the panel did not request that a transcript of Reagan's testimony be made. "Their view is this is somewhat below the dignity of the office," he said.

Herbert Hetu, the commission spokesman, said the panel decided that in the case of former Presidents and the current President, it "would not be appropriate to tape their remarks."

He said the staff director and an assistant will take notes.

Furthermore, Hetu disclosed that the commission has no intention of releasing Reagan's testimony. "We're not going to release anything" except the panel's report, he said. "I'm sure we will not release this part."

"We're not going to release anyone's testimony," Hetu said, adding that that included the interviews with former Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter.

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