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February 03, 1988
Late start 10 A.M.—Talked about speech & received the figs. above. Then word on Kennedy vote for Sup. Ct.—97 to 0. So in several days he’ll be sworn in & we’ll have 9 Justices again.
Told of a controversial bill—the Alaskan Claims bill. There is sentiment in several depts. that I should veto it. It passed by an overwhelming voice vote—our Alaskan reps. want it signed & I think it should be too (Late afternoon I signed it). I also signed letters to Congress telling them of my switch to allowing them to vote on Contra lethal aid.
N.S.C.—Colin spoke to House Foreign Affairs committee on the Contra situation & publicly took on Rep. Hamilton who had followed my speech last nite on T.V. with a totally dishonest diatribe. Colin let him have it.
Possible indictments may be served on Noriega in Panama. Could happen tomorrow. They are drawn up by U.S. Attorneys. Ambas. Dick Murphy is calling on Thatcher & others on Middle East situation. We have a problem that could create trouble with Margaret. Israel wants to sell F 4 planes to Argentina—it would require our permission. Argentina & Eng. are still in a state of war. Then at 11 A.M. started Congressional meetings & phone calls. These were all 1 on 1—no groups.
At lunch continued phone calls.
After lunch Jim Brady came to Oval O. with 2 lunch guests of his—both English film producers of fine movies.
Then George S. meeting—mainly Middle East talk. Finally at 2:30 received Coaches & Red Skin players following their victory parade as N.F.L. Super Bowl Champs. Out on S. Lawn a big crowd—after my remarks they gave me a jersey & football. I asked where their red hot pass receiver was & on cue he broke away from the platform & I threw a pass to him. Thank Heaven I threw a perfect pass which he caught on the run.
Another meeting with a Congressman & then upstairs. Then watched debate & vote in House on Contra aid. We lost 219 to 211. High spot was Claude Pepper closing the 10 hrs. of debate & on the side of “yes.” He was just great & must have changed some votes in our favor.