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February 25, 1988

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Diary Entry - 02/25/1988

Thursday, February 25, 1988

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Well the Jim Wright Contra aid bill will not be voted on in the House today. It is clear Jim W. knows he doesn’t have the votes. Some of his people are looking favorably upon our substitute.

N.S.C.—Colin told us about a pvt. dinner he had in Moscow with our one time Soviet Ambas to Armenia Anytola Dobrynin. It was in a magnificent hotel—palatial in every regard. It is reserved for top Soviet officials.

Two points in last nights press conference came up. My answer on possibility of Soviets being included in the G.A.T.T. treaty. Actually we need to see some movement on the part of the Soviet Ec. system before they can come in. 2nd pt. was my answer about outsiders in the riots in Israel. We cant actually pin this down but have enough information to say it is very likely.

Problem of certification of Mexico as to anti drug performance is shaky.

In Panama—Pres. asked Noriega to step down. Noriega asked him to step down. Pres. has taken refuge in Papal Embassy—his family in American Embassy.

In Lebanon—we are still trying to get a lead on where Lt. Col. Higgens is being held.

Some desk time—then at 11:30 a meeting in Cabinet Rm. with a group of Top industrial C.E.O’s. We’re seeking & have their support for I.N.F. & budget.

Then I lunched alone in study and at 1:30 met with C.I.A. Dir. Bill Webster. He had some outer space photos showing Soviet grading on border with Afghanistan which looks like preparation for basing at least a division.

Wayne Newton—his family & some associates came by. He is just back from a tour entertaining our Naval forces on ships in P. Gulf & elsewhere. Then at 2 P.M. met with Sen. Robt. Byrd & 4 Sens. Warner, Nunn, Boren & Pell who went with him to Europe & met with heads of N.A.T.O. states. They discussed I.N.F. and European attitude to other possible treatys. They wanted them to know we can be counted on. I assured him he was absolutely right & I’d be saying the same thing when I go to Brussels & meet with N.A.T.O. next week.

Some desk time—then photo with Howards staff. Some farewell photos with 2 individuals & familys who are leaving. Then a briefing for interview with Lou Cannon—and the interview. I think it went well.

At 4:30 the annual meeting & photos with Easter Seal Child & adult. The adult is an ex Col. (Army) 39 yrs service now disabled because of wounds. Shawn the child was born without arms. Stumps reach to what would have been his elbows. He’s remarkably self possesed & wound up standing on his head for me on a skateboard.

Finally Armand Hammer came in & presented report from “Presidents Cancer Panel”—he has chaired this since 1981. That ended office time. I went up—did my exercise & had dinner with Mermie. On ABC News Sam Donaldson had somehow gotten a sheet of my talking points for one of the meetings & used it to show (his interpretation) that I could no longer be trusted to attend meeting without having everything I was to say written out for me.