WASHINGTON (Apr. 17)
The White House has confirmed that Albert Spiegel, a Los Angeles businessman, and long-time supporter of President Reagan, had withdrawn as an unpaid volunteer advisor to the President on Jewish affairs.
The Presidential deputy press secretary, Larry Speakes, maintained this was not a sudden move by Spiegel. Speakes said that, according to Michael Deaver, the President’s deputy chief of staff and the member of the Administration closest to Spiegel, Spiegel had indicated for months that he wanted to give up his advisory post and return to his personal business fulltime.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency could not immediately reach Spiegel for comment. But a published report Friday said that while Spiegel refused to give reasons for his departure, he acknowledged it was “in part” due to an article in last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. The article stated that Reagan reportedly told King Hussein of Jordan that “he knows he is going to lose the Jewish vote in 1984 by pressing a peace plan Israel opposes but he confidently predicts he can win reelection without that bloc.”
CLAIMS STATEMENT WAS ‘UNTRUE’
Speakes said the statement attributed to Reagan was “untrue, false, absurd. It bears no relation to the President’s thinking, either in public or private. Anybody who knows the President will just know that he does not think along those terms, or vocalize along those terms.”
Spiegel, who is chairman of the National Republican Jewish Coalition, is considered one of Reagan’s closest links to the Jewish community. Spiegel was reportedly offered the official position of the President’s liaison to the Jewish community when Jacob Stein resigned early last year, but turned it down. It is believed that Michael Gale, who now holds that post, was recommended by Spiegel.