WASHINGTON — Michael K. Deaver complained that government officials "weren't returning his phone calls" during a meeting with lobbying clients, according to testimony today at the former presidential aide's perjury trial.
Gilbert W. Keyes, a manager for Boeing Co., testified that Deaver made the comment during a meeting in late November or early December, 1985, while the budget for the space station project was being debated in the Reagan Administration.
Boeing was supporting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's bid to finance the project at $438 million in the 1987 fiscal year while the Office of Management and Budget proposed $100 million, which Keyes said was "tantamount to cancellation."
After Deaver was briefed about the issue, he "commented that they weren't returning his phone calls," Keyes said.
Keyes said he assumed that Deaver was referring to OMB officials but conceded that his conclusion was "just speculation." But based on Deaver's remark, Keyes said, he "wasn't sure anything was going to happen."
Deaver was retained as a $250,000-a-year lobbyist by Boeing after he left the White House in the spring of 1985.
In testimony Monday, a National Security Council official became the first witness at the trial to say that he thought that Deaver was trying to twist his arm for a client.