Statement by Assistant to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the Resignation of Howard H. Baker, Jr., as Chief of Staff to the President

 

June 14, 1988

 

President Reagan today announces with deep regret the resignation of Chief of Staff Senator Howard H. Baker, who has asked the President's permission to return to private life at this juncture in the administration. The President has enjoyed a close, personal working relationship with Senator Baker since his appointment as Chief of Staff on February 27, 1987. The President has known Senator Baker for many years, having worked with him as Senate majority leader to implement so many of the Reagan initiatives of the first term.

 

``Senator Baker has been a close friend and adviser, who has guided my staff deftly and effectively for the last 16 months,'' the President said. ``He held a steady hand in the operation of the White House while the Iran-contra investigations were being conducted, and his wise counsel fostered the spirit of cooperation in which those issues were presented to the American people. Similarly, he was a steady force for peace in helping to move our negotiators toward an INF agreement and in ensuring two successful summits with the leader of the Soviet Union. He has served America long and well. I wish he and his wife, Joy, all the best in the years ahead.''

 

Senator Baker's resignation will be effective July 1, 1988. He intends to return to private law practice. A copy of Senator Baker's letter of resignation will be available today, and a response by the President will be available soon.

 

Statement on the Appointment of Kenneth M. Duberstein as Chief of Staff to the President

 

June 14, 1988

 

I am today announcing the appointment of Kenneth M. Duberstein to be Chief of Staff at the White House. Ken will assume his new duties on Friday, July 1, 1988.

 

Ken has been Deputy Chief of Staff since March 23, 1987, and has been a close confidant and adviser since that time. In addition, Senator Baker recommended him for this new position. I have known Ken since the earliest days of my administration, when he served in our Office of Legislative Affairs. I welcome his leadership in the next several months, as we attend the eighth economic summit of industrialized nations and conduct the affairs of government for the next 7 months.

 

Ken will be my principal aide and will lead the White House staff as we head into the homestretch. He is an outstanding manager and skilled strategist, who has been fundamental to the significant accomplishments, foreign and domestic, we have achieved since Ken returned as Deputy Chief of Staff in March 1987. Ken has given me firm and effective counsel, and I look forward to his tenure as Chief of Staff.