Dems: Susan Rice an ‘American treasure’

Five Democratic women in the House on Thursday blasted Republican attacks on U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, whom they said is an "American treasure.”

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has become a lightning rod since her statements falsely linking the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, to a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam film. 

President Obama chastised Sens. John McCainJohn McCainRepublicans give Trump's budget the cold shoulder Overnight Defense: Trump budget gets thumbs down from hawks | UK raises threat level after Manchester attack | Paul to force vote on 0B Saudi arms deal Five takeaways from a busy day of Russia hearings MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamDem rep: If you believe in math, you can't believe in Trump's budget Overnight Finance: Inside Trump's first budget | 66 programs on the chopping block | Hearing highlights border tax divide | Labor to implement investment adviser rule Five takeaways from Trump's first budget proposal MORE (R-S.C.) for their criticism of Rice during his press conference Wednesday, calling their criticism “outrageous.” House Democrats echoed that line on Thursday.

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“Over the last several days, Senators McCain, Graham, and [Kelly] Ayotte (R-N.H.) have gone to extraordinary lengths to level unfair attacks against a stalwart American whose public service spans two administrations,” Reps. Gwen MooreGwen MooreHouse Dems ask Fed to consider diverse candidates to fill Richmond vacancy Black Dems tell Trump: ‘We have a lot to lose’ Dem rep to introduce bill to block use of federal funds for Trump's border wall MORE (D-Wis.), Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeDems announce 'unity commission' members If Democrats want to take back the White House start now A guide to the committees: House MORE (D-Ohio), Karen BassKaren BassTechnology's role in human trafficking cannot be ignored Dem rips Trump's claim of historically unfair treatment Los Angeles School Board race takes center stage in battle for public education MORE (D-Calif.), Terri SewellTerri SewellA guide to the committees: House CBC to Trump: Keep Richard Cordray, ensure the protection of American consumers WHIP LIST: More than 60 Dems boycotting Trump's inauguration MORE (D-Ala.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said in a statement Thursday.

“We call on Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte to immediately retract their troubling remarks and shift focus to the important and critical security concerns of our diplomats abroad.”

The lawmakers highlighted Rice's educational and professional background, including her 2000 Samuel Nelson Drew Memorial Award. They've scheduled a press conference for Friday morning.

Rice is rumored to be in the running to replace Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonHannity: I won't discuss Seth Rich story for now "out of respect for the family" Clinton slams Trump's budget: 'An unimaginable level of cruelty' Trump’s crisis of legitimacy MORE as secretary of State, but she could face an uphill battle to win confirmation in the Senate.