Statement by Assistant
to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the Resignation of Attorney
General Meese and President Reagan's Visit With President
Duarte of El Salvador
July 5, 1988
General Meese called President Reagan about ,
just before the President left the White House for WalterReedArmyMedicalHospital. The President stopped
in Dr. John Hutton's first floor office and took the Attorney General's call,
which lasted a minute or two. The Attorney General said he had determined that
he would like to resign and return to private life, adding that he would like
to make the announcement very soon. President Reagan said he would accept the
resignation ``if that's your determination.'' The President later said the
Attorney General had told him some time ago that he might want to leave before
the end of the administration. The President left the timing up to him.
Reagan has the highest regard for Attorney General Meese.
They have been good friends and associates for many years. President Reagan
feels he has been an outstanding Attorney General, who has led the Department
with courage and vigor during his tenure. The President wishes him all the best
in private life.
WalterReedArmyMedicalHospital, the President and Vice
President Bush visited with President Duarte of El Salvador, his wife and son from
approximately President Reagan offered
President Duarte a U.S. Government plane for his return home to El Salvador. President Duarte
accepted. President Reagan also invited President Duarte to the White House for
a visit before departing Washington. President Duarte said
he would like to if it's possible. There is no word on when President Duarte
may leave the hospital.
President and Vice President Bush then visited Major General Lewis Mologne, Commanding Officer of Walter Reed Army Medical
Hospital, who is a patient. President Reagan and Vice President Bush were
notified by Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein of the Attorney General's public
resignation announcement as they were leaving the general's hospital room.