Informal Exchange With Reporters on the Iran Arms and Contra Aid Controversy

May 13, 1987

Q. Mr. President, McFarlane says your diary shows that King Fahd and you discussed contra aid when he was here.

President Reagan. Bill [Bill Plante, CBS News], you know we're not going to take questions at a thing like this. But the error there was discussed. My diary shows that I never brought it up, and it shows that the King, before he left, told me that he was doing that and that he was going to increase the aid.

Q. So then, it had been agreed on before at a lower level?

President Reagan. There was no solicitation that I know of or anything of the kind. I did know, and had been informed, that he was helping, but I never brought it up.

Q. Sir, might you have encouraged him, though, at some point, by thanking him for his support for the contras?

President Reagan. The subject was never broached until, in his leaving, he told me what he was doing.

Q. And what was your response at the time?

President Reagan. Oh, I think I expressed pleasure that he was doing that.

Q. Do you know how Bud McFarlane may have gotten access to that information from your diary, sir?

President Reagan. Well, it was in the Tower commission report.

Q. President Cerezo, do you share the administration's reservations about the Costa Rica peace plan?

President Cerezo. We are going to do that at this point, at this moment.

Note: The exchange began at 11:36 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House, prior to a meeting with President Vinicio Cerezo Arevalo of Guatemala. In the first question, the reporter referred to Robert C. McFarlane, former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.