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Kennedy Administration Denies Involvement in Viet Coup

Nov. 1, 1963 - Congressional sources said today that Administration officials had told them the military revolt in South Vietnam had come as a surprise to the U.S. Government. Members of a House of Representatives study mission were briefed on the developments by State Department intelligence officers. Their spokesman, Representative Clement J. Zablocki (D-Wisc.), said he understood that the uprising had been “a complete surprise.” “They told us there was no advance information,” he added. Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.), leader of the Senate, gave his colleagues a somewhat similar report after separate consultations with Administration officials. In a statement to the Senate, he said: “The news of the uprising in Vietnam came as a complete surprise to me and, I am quite certain, a surprise to the Administration. There have been rumors, of course, for weeks that a coup d’état was in the making, but there was nothing tangible to reinforce such an assumption up to this time.” Both Sen. Mansfield and Rep. Zablocki said the uprising was “purely” a Vietnamese affair. They thus sought to back up the Administration’s denial of any involvement by the U.S. Government.

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