Exchange With Reporters on Domestic and Foreign Policy Issues

October 29, 1981

Q. Are you going to fire Allen [Richard V. Allen, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs]?

The President. All I can tell you is whoever wrote that report not only was blowing smoke, they were also doing a disservice to this country. I am very happy with the team we have, and the country should be. And Al Haig is Secretary of State and, I think, one of the finest we've had in a very long time.

Q. How about Dick Allen?

The President. And Dick Allen is doing his job and we're all getting along fine and there's going to be no musical chairs being played.

Q. There's no conflict between the two of them?

The President. No.

Q. So the team stays in place?

The President. Yes, you bet.

Q. How are you feeling?

The President. Hungry. [Laughter]

Q. Any additional arms for Israel?

The President. Nothing except the agreements that we've always had with them. Our relationship has not changed at all, and they're still an ally.

Q. Saudi Arabia says it was a victory against Zionism, a defeat for Zionism.

The President. Well, it was a victory for peace in the Middle East.

Q. What about the Saudi peace plan? What are the best parts of that? You mentioned it last night.

The President, Well, I think the most significant part is the fact that they recognize Israel as a nation to be negotiated with.

Q. That recession is deepening, is it not? Those indicators today seemed to suggest it.

The President. I don't know. I'm on my way to a physical check-up, so I can answer his question of how I feel.

Q. Are we going to get an honest report afterwards? I mean, by that, they won't cover up anything, any problem that might develop?

The President. I haven't got any problems.

Q. We hope not. Thank you.

Note: The exchange began at 1:45 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House as the President and Mrs. Reagan were departing for their annual physical examinations at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.