Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice fired back at her former colleague, Vice President Dick Cheney, over descriptions of her in his recent memoir.
In her first public comments on Cheney’s book, “In My Time,” Rice told Reuters that the book attacked her integrity.
She disputed Cheney’s much-discussed claim that she had “tearfully admitted” the vice president was right about a major difference of opinion.
Rice wanted the administration to apologize for President Bush’s unfounded claim in his 2003 State of the Union address that Iraq was looking for uranium to build nuclear weapons. Cheney thought a public apology was a bad idea.
In his memoir, Cheney wrote that after the apology was made, Rice “came into my office, sat down in the chair next to my desk, and tearfully admitted I had been right.”
“It certainly doesn’t sound like me, now, does it?” Rice said of the passage. “I would never—I don’t remember coming to the vice president tearfully about anything in the entire eight years that I knew him,” she said.
Rice remembered the meeting quite differently. “I did say to the vice president, ‘you know, you were right about the press reaction.’ But I am quite certain that I didn’t do it tearfully.”
Rice also took issue with Cheney’s assertion that she had misled President Bush about her negotiations with North Korea. “I kept the president fully and completely informed about every in and out of the negotiations with the North Koreans,” she said.
“You can talk about policy differences without suggesting that your colleague somehow misled the president. You know, I don’t appreciate the attack on my integrity that that implies,” she told Reuters.
Earlier in the week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Rice’s predecessor, disputed passages in Cheney’s book that criticized him, calling them “cheap shots.”
Rice’s own memoir, “No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington” will be released on November 1.