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US presidential aide Robert Strauss dies at 95

US President George W. Bush (2nd R) confers with Robert Strauss (R) beside US Vice President Dick Cheney (2nd L) during a meeting with his Cabinet and Democratic party leaders at the White House on January 22, 2001 in Washington, DCRobert Strauss, a Washington insider and lobbyist who led the Democratic Party and advised presidents, died Wednesday. President Ronald Reagan had sought Strauss’s advice when his administration got caught up in the Iran-Contra affair that saw senior administration officials secretly carry out arms sales to Iran during an arms embargo and funnel proceeds to buy weapons for US-backed rebels in Nicaragua. A “deeply saddened” Nancy Reagan recalled that Strauss was one of the first people she and the late Republican president had met when they first arrived in Washington more than three decades ago. In 1991, president George H.W. Bush, also a Republican, picked the Democratic confidant to serve as US ambassador to the Soviet Union as the communist country crumbled.

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