Public Papers of Jimmy Carter, 1980-1981

Author: Jimmy Carter  | Date: July 29, 1980

Billy Carter’s Activities With the Libyan Government
Remarks Concerning the Disclosure of Administration Actions.
July 29, 1980

THE PRESIDENT. The American people deserve complete answers to questions that have been raised about my actions with regard to my brother’s relationship with Libya. The concern which any such relationship might arouse is heightened in this case by the frequent and sharp differences in policy between the Government of Libya and the Government of the United States. I’m eager to use whatever legitimate forum is available at the earliest opportunity to answer any questions and to lay all those concerns to rest.

I’ve instructed those who work with me in the Government to cooperate fully in presenting a full and complete description of the actions of our administration in this matter. I have insisted for the last 2 weeks that relevant facts be made public as soon as possible, even when those facts might prove embarrassing or might require clarification of incomplete information already distributed.

I will complete and present to the Senate subcommittee by early next week the report which it has requested. I’m willing to respond and I’m eager to respond in person to further questions from members of that subcommittee, in a manner consistent with the responsibilities of my office, at any time in the future—the sooner the better. I will also present that report to the public and respond to questions from the press on its contents.

I have no doubt that complete disclosure of the facts will clearly demonstrate that at no time did my brother influence me in my decisions toward Libya or the policies of this Government concerning Libya. And I’m convinced that the facts will make clear that neither I nor anyone acting in my behalf ever sought to influence or to interfere in the investigation of my brother by the Department of Justice.
Thank you.

REPORTER. Mr. President, are you content to wait until after the convention to make your personal appearance at a hearing?

THE PRESIDENT. I’ll be eager to answer those questions next week, and Jody [Powell] will follow up shortly;

NOTE: The President spoke at 4:46 p.m. to reporters assembled in the Briefing Room at the White House.