Right Wants Maureen To Close ‘Big Mouth’

The following four news article are not directly related to Evan Mecham, but it was one of the events that led to me becoming the Arizona governor’s press secretary. Maureen Reagan was a neighbor and friend. One day, she asked me to listen to a draft of a speech calling for the indictment of Oliver North and John Poindexter on charges of treason.

I listened and offered some suggestions, but I also cautioned her that she would be hitting a hornet’s next. She explained that North and Poindexter “had lied to the President” — her father. I asked what the lie was, but she would give no details, saying it would all be public some day. Some 25 years later, I can make a good guess, but it would only be a guess.

At the time, Maureen was talking to Republicans in Arizona about the expanding difficulties with Governor Evan Mecham. Several months later, she arranged for me to be interviewed by Mecham.

While Maureen was co-chair of the RNC, the other co-chair was Frank Fahrenkopf. Coincidently, I had met Fahrenkopf some 16 years earlier when I was a reporter in Nevada and he was the major force in Nevada’s Republican Party. After Maureen called for the indictments, Fahrenkopf pushed Maureen out of her co-chair position.

– Ken Smith 


Reagan’s daughter accuses North, Poindexter of treason

Associated Press, March 7, 1987

President Reagan’s daughter Maureen is calling for the court-martial of former national security advisor John Poindexter and his aide Oliver North, both of whom are military men. Maureen Reagan, who co-chairs the Republican National Committee, accused North and Poindexter of lying through omission. And she told reporters, “A member of the United States military who lies to their commander-in-chief is guilty of treason.”


March 11, 1987
Knight-Ridder Newspapers.

WASHINGTON — President Reagan’s daughter, Maureen, was called on the carpet by her boss and labeled a “big mouth” by another critic Tuesday for saying that Rear Adm. John Poindexter and Lt. Col. Oliver North are “guilty of treason and should be court-martialed” for their actions in the Iran-contra affair.

Conservative groups tried to organize a telephone blitz of the White House opinion line in defense of the two officers.

“Thousands of phone calls are coming in protesting Maureen Reagan`s outrageous comments,” said Andy Messing, executive director of the National Defense Council Foundation. “We`ve nominated her for big-mouth-of-the-year.”

But the White House said there hadn`t been an unusual number of calls about Maureen Reagan and that no count had been kept.

What infuriated Messing and other conservatives was Maureen Reagan`s comments to reporters Monday that her father was “royally p.o.’d” when he learned how Poindexter and North had used their National Security Council offices.

Maureen Reagan, co-chairman of the Republican National Committee, spoke to reporters after party leaders had lunched with the President at the White House.

She said, “A member of the United States military who lies to their commander-in-chief is guilty of treason and should be court-martialed, because by omission or commission they did not tell the President what they were doing, and that`s a lie.”

On Tuesday, Messing said her boss, Frank Fahrenkopf, “is bouncing off the wall, he`s so p.o.`d. Maureen Reagan is in deep dirt with her own boss. She`s a rogue elephant, according to Frank Fahrenkopf.”

A switchboard operator at the Republican National Committee initially refused to put a reporter through to Fahrenkopf, and the committee`s press office said only, “Maureen`s comments are her own personal opinion and do not reflect the opinion of the Republican National Committee.”

However, a GOP insider acknowledged that Fahrenkopf “was very upset with what occurred.” He added that the matter “has been resolved.”

At the College Republican National Committee, executive director Dennis Kilcoyne said: “I think Maureen Reagan probably feels that she has the right to mouth off, to define what treason and lying mean, you know. But I don`t really have much respect for her.

“A lot of people are p.o.’d. I made a couple of calls (to the White House) myself.”

The Republican National Committee said Maureen Reagan was “definitely unavailable.”


Reagan Angry at Scandal Figures, Maureen Says

March 09, 1987
United Press International

WASHINGTON — Maureen Reagan said today that her father was angry with Vice Adm. John M. Poindexter and Marine Lt. Col. Oliver L. North for their part in the Iran- contra scandal.

Maureen Reagan, the newly elected co-chairman of the Republican National Committee, made the statements at a news conference after a luncheon hosted by President Reagan for the committee’s executive board.

“It was a very difficult waiting period for the President until the Tower Commission did its work,” she said. “It was very frustrating for all of us to be beat up pretty bad without being able to respond because that information was being sought by the Tower board.

“I think the President was very angry when he learned of some of the things — in fact, many of the things — that had been done without his knowledge. In fact, royally PO’d might be a good word for it. I cleaned that up just for you guys.”

She readily acknowledged that she had said in Bismarck, N.D., several days ago that North and Poindexter should be court-martialed. Poindexter was Reagan’s national security adviser and North a deputy director of the National Security Council before they left the White House staff Nov. 25. North was fired; Poindexter was allowed to resign.


Maureen Reagan Takes Heat For ‘Court-martial’ Remark

By Bernie Shellum and Michael Wagner
Philadelphia Inquirer Washington Bureau

March 11, 1987

WASHINGTON — President Reagan’s daughter Maureen was called on the carpet by her boss and labeled a “big mouth” by another critic yesterday for saying that Rear. Adm. John M. Poindexter and Lt. Col. Oliver L. North are “guilty of treason and should be court-martialed” for their actions in the Iran-contra affair.

Conservative groups tried to organize a telephone blitz of the White House opinion line in defense of the two. “Thousands of phone calls are coming in protesting Maureen Reagan’s outrageous comments,” said F. Andy Messing Jr., executive director of the National Defense Council Foundation. “We’ve nominated her for big-mouth-of-the-year.”

But the White House said that there had not been an unusual number of calls about her remarks and that no count had been kept.

Messing has been involved in raising private aid for anti-communist forces in Central America. He has been described in news reports as an acquaintance of both North and his former secretary, Fawn Hall.

Maureen Reagan told reporters on Monday that her father was “very angry” when he learned how Poindexter and North had used their National Security Council offices. She is the co-chairman of the Republican National Committee and spoke to reporters after party leaders had had lunch with the President at the White House.

“The President was very angry when he learned some of the things — in fact, many of the things — that were done without his knowledge,” Maureen Reagan said. “In fact, royally p-o’d might be a good word for it.”

She said, “A member of the United States military who lies to their commander-in-chief is guilty of treason and should be court-martialed, because by omission or commission they did not tell the President what they were doing, and that’s a lie.”

Yesterday, Messing said that her boss, Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., was ”bouncing off the wall” with anger. Maureen Reagan “is in deep dirt with her own boss. She’s a rogue elephant, according to Frank Fahrenkopf.”

Sources at the committee said they could not confirm whether Fahrenkopf had used that phrase.

Although Fahrenkopf could not be reached for comment, a source inside the Republican Party said Fahrenkopf “was very upset with what occurred.” The source added that the matter “has been resolved. . . . They had a discussion. He made it clear that he was the chairman and she was the co- chairman.”