Remarks on Receiving the Final Report of the President's Special Review Board on the National Security Council

February 26, 1987

The President. On behalf of myself and the American people, I want to extend my thanks to Senator Tower, Secretary Muskie, and General Scowcroft. Whatever this report may say, I have appointed -- or I'm proud to have appointed this distinguished Board, because it fulfills my commitment to get the facts and share them with the American people. This is why I asked Attorney General Meese to conduct his review and why, when that review uncovered unauthorized actions, I ordered full disclosure of what we then knew. It was why I urged the appointment of an Independent Counsel and why I appointed David Abshire as my Special Counselor on this matter. And it is also why I ordered full cooperation with congressional inquiries. And it's why I appointed this Board, the Tower board.

The significance of this Board's work is reflected in the size of this volume, which I am going to carefully study over the next several days. But Senator Tower, Secretary Muskie, and General Scowcroft, in completing the task so well, you've again demonstrated a willingness -- one you've shown all your lives -- to help your country, to devote yourself to public service. In a highly charged atmosphere, I know it wasn't easy to interrupt your lives. But this was an important contribution to your nation, and the American people are grateful to you for it.

And now, in addition to thanking these distinguished gentlemen, I want to make it clear that I consider their work far too important for instant analysis. I intend to read and digest it first, think carefully about its findings, and promptly act on its recommendations.

Next week I will address the Nation and give the American people my response to this report. But I pledge to the American people today that I will do whatever is necessary to enact the proper reforms and to meet the challenges ahead.

I want to thank the members of the Board again. And now, John [Tower], I'm sure there'll be a few questions for you.

Q. Mr. President -- --

Q. -- -- Donald Regan be leaving as Chief of Staff?

Q. -- -- Iranian.

Q. Mr. President -- --

Q. Is Donald Regan -- --

The President. The Board will take your questions.

Q. Sir, will Donald Regan be leaving as your Chief of Staff?

Note: The President spoke at 11 a.m. in Room 450 of the Old Executive Office Building.