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Didn't Know of Contra Arms, Reagan Insists

May 05, 1987|United Press International

WASHINGTON — President Reagan insisted today that he was unaware that private money was used to purchase arms for the contras and voiced hope that congressional hearings will answer "some of the things that I'm still waiting to learn" about the Iran arms scandal.

As Congress opened three months of hearings into the clandestine operations that caused the worst crisis of his presidency, Reagan told reporters that he was aware of "no illegal fund-raising" by his aides on behalf of the contras.

"I knew, as everyone else I think knew, that out there in the country there were people that were contributing privately and in groups, giving money to the contras," Reagan said after a Rose Garden ceremony to spotlight the war on drug abuse.

Asked whether he knew that the aid, solicited from private donors with White House help, was used for weapons, Reagan replied, "I don't know how that money was to be used and I have no knowledge that there was ever any solicitation by our people."

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