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February 03, 1986
Staff meeting & N.S.C. as usual. This time I had an issue I wanted look into. Last nite on “60 min’s.” they had a segment on homeless welfare recipients in N.Y. being put up in hotels. In one case a woman & three children in a 10 x 12 room for which the govt. was paying $2000 a month. They were blaming it on the Fed. govt. I thought I knew the answer but wanted it checked out. I was right—that was a practice of N.Y. City not us. Another Q. had to do with Scharansky. We have a deal to get him out of Russia. Last nite & this morning it was all over the news. I feared the publicity might queer the deal. Turns out the leak was from Moscow.
Went over to the East room & addressed about 250 of my appointees to govt. Just wanted to thank them.
Then it was N.S.P.G. time in the situation room re Gorbachev’s proposal to eliminate nuclear arms. Some wanted to tag it a publicity stunt. I said no. Lets say we share their overall goals & now want to work out the details. If it is a publicity stunt this will be revealed by them. I also propose that we announce we are going forward with S.D.I. but if research reveals a defense against missiles is possible we’ll work out how it can be used to protect the whole world not just us.
An issues lunch, then a statement to the press that I’m setting up a commission to find the answer to “Challenger” the shuttle tragedy. Bill Rogers has agreed to chair it & Astronaut Armstrong will be Vice Chair.
Rcv’d. annual Boy Scout report and asked them to take lead in enhancing program of organ donors. They agreed. Linda Chavez is leaving us to run for Mac’s senate seat in Maryland. Said goodbye today. Another session with 20 or so C.E.O.’s on supporting our budget. A haircut & upstairs.