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 Sidney McCainMellman: Memories may be beautiful, yet… Schumer to oppose Pompeo as secretary of State Arizona GOP blocked from changing rules on filling McCain's seat MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP anxiety grows over Trump’s Iran decision Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators eye path forward on election security bill | Facebook isn't winning over privacy advocates | New hacks target health care Paul backs Pompeo, clearing path for confirmation 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 Sophia MooreLawmakers remember Slaughter in Capitol ceremony Dems slam FCC head for proposed limits to low-income internet program Democrats lay into Trump's pick of Bolton for national security adviser MORE (D-Wis.), Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeHouse rejects effort to condemn lawmaker for demanding 'Dreamer' arrests Hispanic Dems seek vote to condemn GOP lawmaker for demanding arrests of 'Dreamers' Dem lawmaker: ‘We are seeing the dumbing down of the presidency’ MORE (D-Ohio), Karen BassKaren Ruth BassDem rep on Trump tweet: ‘An embarrassment on the international stage’ Sunday Shows preview: Debate over memo takes spotlight in Washington Dem rips GOP lawmaker for calling for FBI 'purge': Maybe he needs a history lesson MORE (D-Calif.), Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellRecord number of black women running for office in Alabama after Roy Moore defeat Dem: Trump blocking memo shows he's 'not interested in transparency' Recy Taylor's granddaughter to attend State of the Union as Dem's guest 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 Diane Rodham ClintonDems flip New York state seat that Republicans have held for nearly four decades Dems win majority in New York Senate, but won't control it Chelsea Clinton hits back at NYT reporter over details in new book MORE as secretary of State, but she could face an uphill battle to win confirmation in the Senate.