Oliver North, who in the 1980s became famous for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal, will be the next president of the National Rifle Association, the organization announced Monday.
“I am honored to have been selected by the NRA Board to soon serve as this great organization’s President,” North said in a statement. “I appreciate the board initiating a process that affords me a few weeks to set my affairs in order, and I am eager to hit the ground running as the new NRA President.”
North, who worked for President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council, was convicted on three charges in 1989 after taking partial responsibility in a scheme to sell weapons to Iran, which was subject to an arms embargo, and use the proceeds to fund the rebel Contras in Nicaragua. The convictions were vacated in 1990.
North, a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel who more recently hosted a television program on Fox News, will leave the network immediately, according to the press release.
Second Vice President Carolyn Meadows will serve as the NRA’s interim president and will “step aside in a few weeks, when Lt. Colonel North is prepared to take on his new role as NRA President.”
“Oliver North is, hands down, the absolute best choice to lead our NRA Board, to fully engage with our members, and to unflinchingly stand and fight for the great freedoms he has defended his entire life,” NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre said. “Oliver North is a true hero and warrior for freedom and NRA members are proud to stand with him.”
“Thrilled about the Oliver North news. A total warrior for freedom, this is the last person that anti-gun advocates would want as the new President of the NRA board,” NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch tweeted.