John McCain: ‘I’ll make every effort’ to work with Susan Rice

June 5, 2013

Updated 3:26 p.m. ET

One of Susan Rice's most vocal critics said Wednesday that he'll try his hardest to work with her when she switches jobs to become national security adviser.

The White House announced Wednesday morning that Tom Donilon will be stepping down in the coming weeks as national security adviser and will be replaced by Rice, who has served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. In her place, President Obama plans to nominate Samantha Power to serve as the top American envoy to the U.N.

In response, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) -- who led a GOP charge against Rice as Obama sought to nominate her as secretary of state -- took to Twitter Wednesday morning to share his thoughts.

"Obviously I disagree w/ POTUS appointment of Susan Rice as Nat'l Security Adviser, but I'll make every effort to work w/ her on imp't issues," McCain wrote.


There's not much McCain can do about the move anyway, because the national security adviser doesn't require Senate confirmation.

But Power's nomination does require Senate approval -- and McCain said later Wednesday that he approves of Obama's choice, saying he believes that she "is well-qualified for this important position and [I] hope the Senate will move forward on her nomination as soon as possible.”

Broader congressional reaction may be slower to trickle out Wednesday as much of the Senate and several members of the House were in New York to attend the funeral of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

One of the few senators spotted in the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), said in a statement that Rice "is a great choice" for the job.

"She has had a string of successes at the United Nations as a forceful advocate for our strategic interests and defender human rights for women and LGBT people across the glob," Hirono said. "She is thoughtful and strategic, and clearly tough enough to handle whatever is thrown at her."

This item has been updated.

Follow Ed O'Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.
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