Susan Rice, widely considered to be President Obama’s choice to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, has withdrawn her name from consideration for the post, NBC News reports.
The announcement comes after months of criticism aimed at Rice, the U.N. envoy, over her comments on Benghazi.
In a letter to Obama, Rice wrote: “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.”
Rice added: “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.”
NBC will feature an interview with Rice by Brian Williams on tonight’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” NBC News reports.
“She has been under intense fire from Republicans for initially characterizing the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as a spur-of-the-moment response to a crude anti-Muslim film,” the piece reports.
Five days after the attack, Rice said on NBC’s “Meet the Press: “What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.
“Opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary Libya, and it escalated into a much more violent episode.”
The report adds: “As more details emerged suggesting it was a premeditated terrorist action, GOP critics accused Rice of misleading the public at the height of the presidential campaign.
“She countered that she went with the best information available about the attack, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.”
Speaking at the United Nations on Nov. 21, Rice said: “I relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community. I made clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answers.”
Obama has reportedly accepted her withdrawal from consideration.