Reagan Tunes Off: He’s Too Busy With ‘People’s Business’

United Press International

President Reagan, busy “carrying on the people’s business,” ignored the start of Oliver North’s long-awaited appearance before Congress, his chief spokesman said today.

Although Reagan has often said he is waiting to learn the full story of the Iran- contra affair from North and others, neither the President nor any of his senior staff aides watched the nationally televised hearing, Marlin Fitzwater said.

Television sets echoed North’s testimony throughout the cramped White House press room, but in Fitzwater’s downstairs and upstairs offices, every set was off.


The White House counsel, A. B. Culvahouse, was watching the action, as he has since the beginning of the hearings, in order to prepare a one- or two-page written summary for the President.

“Nothing is more important than carrying out the people’s business on a day-to-day basis,” said Fitzwater, explaining why Reagan did not watch the morning session. Reagan had an afternoon meeting scheduled with businessman Peter Grace.