Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday disputed former Vice President Cheney’s depiction of her as “tearful” and misleading in his new memoir.
“You can talk about policy differences without suggesting that your colleague somehow misled the president,” Rice said in an interview with Reuters. “I don’t appreciate the attack on my integrity that that implies.”
Rice rejected Cheney’s retelling of events involving nuclear negotiations with North Korea, as well as his characterization of her as “tearful” during a private meeting.
“I don’t remember coming to the vice president tearfully about anything in the entire eight years that I knew him,” Rice said. “It certainly doesn’t sound like me, now, does it?”
According to Cheney, he had argued that no apology should be made for the use of disputed intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction in former President George W. Bush’s 2003 State of the Union Address. Rice, however, “surprised” him by indicating publicly that the White House might have been wrong to use it in the speech.
Cheney wrote that later, “[Rice] came into my office, sat down in the chair next to my desk, and tearfully admitted that I had been right.”
Rice disputed Cheney’s characterization of her in the story.
“I did say to the vice president, ‘You know, you were right about the press reaction,’” Rice told Reuters. “But I am quite certain that I didn’t do it tearfully.”
Many of Cheney’s former White House colleagues are disputing his depiction of people and events in his memoir, “In My Time.” Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that Cheney’s book took “cheap shots” at colleagues. Cheney responded Thursday on MSNBC that he suspects Powell did not take a “fair reading” of the book.
Rice refused to “question the vice president’s motives” in writing the book, and said she still has a great deal of “respect” for him.
Bush was even more circumspect in an interview Thursday on Fox News Channel, noting that he had also written a memoir retelling his “version of what it was like to serve the country.”
Bush added: “Eventually objective historians will analyze our administration and draw objective conclusions.”
Rice’s own memoir detailing political events is expected for release later this year.