WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday she resented what she viewed as an attack on her integrity by former Vice President Dick Cheney in his just-published memoir.
Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Rice rejected Cheney’s contention that she misled President George W. Bush about nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.
“I kept the president fully and completely informed about every in and out of the negotiations with the North Koreans,” Rice said in her first public comments on the matter. “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.”
Rice, in a telephone interview, also disputed a passage in Cheney’s memoir, “In My Time,” in which he says the secretary of state “tearfully admitted” that the Bush administration should not have apologized for a claim in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address on Iraq’s supposed search for uranium for nuclear arms.
Cheney, who opposed a public apology for the unfounded claim, wrote that 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 in the interview. “I would never — I don’t remember coming to the vice president tearfully about anything in the entire eight years that I knew him.”
“I did say to him that he had been right about the press reaction” to the administration’s acknowledgment that the remarks about Iraq seeking uranium in Africa should not have been in Bush’s speech, Rice said.
“And so 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,” she said.