Byrnes said Connolly would take him to several Middle Eastern capitals to lobby regional leaders to get a better deal from Republican candidate Reagan if he continued to hold hostages until after the election. Persuaded Tehran to receive
Burns told the paper he was persuaded to release his testimony after hearing news last month that Carter was receiving home hospice care.
“History needs to know what happened,” Burns told the paper. “I think it’s very important, and knowing that the end of President Carter is near, it’s all the more on my mind. I feel like I have to bring it down one way or another. “
According to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library records, Connolly and Mr. Burns left Houston on July 18, 1980, visiting Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel, and returned on August 11. .
Burns said he believed the reason for the visit was to tell Iran to hold the hostages until after the election.
He claimed that when the two first met many leaders of the Middle East, Connolly told them: They are more with Reagan than Carter.
Burns added: [Connally] “It would be very wise to tell the Iranians to wait until this general election is over.” And boy, I tell you, I was sitting there listening to it.
“Believing that was the purpose of the trip, I will visit the grave.”
Burns doesn’t suggest that Reagan, who won two terms as U.S. president, knew nothing about the trip, but Burns told the New York Times that Reagan’s plans for Connolly’s return to the U.S. were unacceptable. He said he had explained it to William Casey, who chaired the campaign.