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 McCainTrump: Republicans 'look like fools' if they don't kill Senate filibuster The Memo: GOP in shock over White House drama Pelosi opens door to working with GOP on healthcare MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamHow bad was Trump's week? Even the GOP is standing up to him Trump: Let ObamaCare implode Five takeaways from ObamaCare repeal’s collapse 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 MooreWisconsin Democrat refuses to be ‘backdrop’ in Trump’s jobs announcement Overnight Finance: House votes to repeal arbitration rule | Yellen, Cohn on Trump's list for Fed chief | House passes Russia sanctions deal | GOP centrists push back on border wall funding Three House Dems call for Trump to withdraw nominee to lead Ex-Im Bank MORE (D-Wis.), Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeLawmakers push regulators on how Amazon's Whole Foods deal could affect 'food deserts' Dems announce 'unity commission' members If Democrats want to take back the White House start now MORE (D-Ohio), Karen BassKaren BassEthiopia at tipping point as Congress mulls human rights bill Technology's role in human trafficking cannot be ignored Dem rips Trump's claim of historically unfair treatment MORE (D-Calif.), Terri SewellTerri SewellVoter fraud commission starts amid controversy It’s time to restore full power to the Voting Rights Act A guide to the committees: House 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 ClintonTrump: ‘Russia was against Trump in the 2016 election’ More than 100 conservatives sign letter supporting Sessions Sally Yates: Justice system 'may be broken beyond recognition' under Trump MORE as secretary of State, but she could face an uphill battle to win confirmation in the Senate.