Oliver North appeared to be heading out of the National Rifle Association amid a dramatic and fast-developing power struggle at the top of the influential gun rights organization.
North announced during the annual NRA meeting in Indianapolis he had been told he could not seek re-election as president, ending a brief one-year tenure.
The unexpected moved comes less than 24 hours after it was reported that North and long-serving NRA executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre were locked in conflict over the group’s future direction and a swirl of legal troubles.
“Please know I hoped to be with you today as NRA president endorsed for re-election. I’m now informed that that will not happen,” North said in a letter read at the NRA’s national convention by the group’s second vice-president Richard Childress.
It was unclear exactly what North’s announcement meant amid the apparent power struggle, and it comes before a key meeting of the group’s board on Monday, when North’s term ends.
North, a longtime conservative commentator best known for his central role in the 1980s Iran-Contra affair, said in his letter he was being forced out due to his allegations that NRA leaders engaged in financial improprieties.