President Reagan has decided not to designate his new U.N. ambassador, Vernon A. Walters, a member of the National Security Council, giving Walters less access to high-level foreign policy deliberations than enjoyed by his predecessor, Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick, White House officials said yesterday.
The officials said that Walters was angry upon learning of the decision and protested Saturday to national security affairs adviser Robert C. McFarlane.
They said that Walters would still enjoy Cabinet rank and have ample opportunity to make his views known to the White House. But, one official said, "Walters won't be invited to every NSC and NSPG [national security planning group] meeting," as Kirkpatrick had been.
The Washington Times reported yesterday that Walters felt betrayed by Secretary of State George P. Shultz and might not accept the post as redefined. A White House official, who briefed reporters on condition that he not be identified, said Walters "did not give us any indication, nor did we receive any between then and now, to believe he would not accept."
A State Department spokesman denied the Times report that Walters believes he was "lied to" by Shultz.
A second White House official said that Walters would be a "high-profile United Nations ambassador, and we trust he'll do that job extremely well." This official said: "We don't need" another "part-time NSC participant."
Walters could not be reached for comment yesterday. At the time he was named to the U.N. job, Walters, 68, a retired three-star general and former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said he understood that the job would continue to have Cabinet rank and would generally be structured as it was under Kirkpatrick.