Susan Rice: ‘I’m not a victim’

December 14, 2012

Susan Rice said she doesn't feel as if she was victim of bad information during the political battle with Senate Republicans that led to her withdrawal from consideration as  a potential secretary of state.

"I'm not a victim. I wasn't set up," she told NBC's Brian Williams in an interview just after she submitted a letter to President Obama taking herself out of contention for the position.

Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, was considered a likely candidate to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) promised to block her nomination, citing statements she made on Sunday talk shows that characterized the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi. Officials have said that the information came from the CIA and only later did it become clear that the attack was coordinated.. 

"We're in a sad place frankly, when national security, national security officials who are sitting in their jobs serving the American people every day -- and potential candidates for secretary of state -- get caught up in a political vortex," Rice said.

Rice also wrote a Washington Post op-ed, again saying that she gave the best information available at the time during the controversial interview and lamenting the politics surrounding her potential nomination: 

I grew up in Washington, D.C., and I’ve seen plenty of battles over politics and policy. But a national security appointment, much less a potential one, should never be turned into a political football. There are far bigger issues at stake. So I concluded this distraction has to stop.

Natalie Jennings is a Web producer for PostTV.
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