U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has withdrawn from consideration to become secretary of state, NBC News reported Thursday.
Rice, 48, came under attack following the September attack against the U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, when she presented the incident as an escalation of spontaneous anti-American demonstration. She was contradicted by the intelligence community, who pointed to a premeditated attack. As a result, Rice was accused of misleading the public, while several Senators vowed to block her nomination to the position of Secretary of State.
On Thursday, NBC exposed the letter written by Rice to President Barack Obama, saying: "If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities... That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country... Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time."
Later on Thursday, President Obama released a statement, saying he accepted his envoy's position while praising her for being "an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant" and her achievements at the UN.
"I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend", Obama wrote, adding that "while I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first."
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