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Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner?

April 15, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former presidential spokesman Larry Speakes has canceled plans to attend the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner here next week as a guest of The Washington Post, an editor of the newspaper said Friday.

Mary Hadad, the assistant managing editor in charge of the Post’s Style section, said Speakes was invited several weeks ago to attend the dinner as a guest of the Style staff.

This was before publication of a book in which Speakes admits that he told reporters President Reagan had said things that the president did not say.

After the book appeared and controversy arose over Speakes’ assertions, Ms. Hadad said she and others at the Post sought to reach Speakes to talk to him about the dinner and about rescheduling a planned interview with him.

She said the former spokesman talked by telephone Thursday night with Style reporter Donnie Radcliffe.

″He called her last night and he withdrew,″ the editor said. ″They rescheduled their interview and I believe she expressed ... how uncomfortable he might be″ at the dinner.

The furor over Speakes’ revelations also cost him his job Friday as vice president for communications at Merrill Lynch Corp. in New York. Speakes resigned, reportedly after intense pressure from senior executives of the financial services firm.

The president will speak at the dinner, scheduled for next Thursday night at a Washington hotel.

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