His words, at a press conference, can be read here:
REAGAN'S MEMORY ALSO FAILS. Reagan attended four NSC meetings, but he also contended that he knew nothing of illegal arms shipments to Iran and illegal weapons sales to the Contras. In November 1986, a Beirut newspaper broke a story which explained that American arms sales to Iran.
A month earlier on October 8, 1986 Reagan was asked at a news conference: "Was there any United States involvement in this fight over Nicaragua -- carrying the arms -- any involvement whatsoever?" Reagan replied: "I'm glad you asked. Absolutely not. While they (three Americans, including Eugene Hasenfus) there is no government connection with that at all." Then after the Reagan administration acknowledged that the United States was selling weapons to Iran, Reagan stated on November 19, 1986: "To eliminate the widespread but mistaken perception that we have been exchanging arms for hostages, I have directed that no further sale of arms of any kind be sent to Iran." Reagan was then asked, "Didn't the United States condone shipments of arms to Israel and other nations?" Reagan denied this charge by saying, "We did not condone and do not condone the shipment of arms." Then Reagan was asked, "Could you explain what the Israeli role was here?" Reagan's response was, "No, because, as I say, have had nothing to do with other countries or their shipment of arms."
There is more on the Iran/Contra affair here:
The scandal was almost the undoing of the Teflon President. Of all the revelations that emerged, the most galling for the American public was the president's abandonment of the long-standing policy against dealing with terrorists, which Reagan repeatedly denied doing in spite of overwhelming evidence that made it appear he was simply lying to cover up the story.