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 McCainMan acquitted over tweet offering 0 to killing an ICE agent Lessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham expects Horowitz investigation to show evidence was manipulated, withheld Trump's exceptionalism: No president has so disrespected our exceptional institutions Trump, GOP shift focus from alleged surveillance abuse to Durham Russia probe 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 MooreA dozen House Democrats call on EU ambassador to resign amid Ukraine scandal The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment On The Money: Senate panel scraps vote on key spending bill amid standoff | Democrats threaten to vote against defense bill over wall funding | Trump set to meet with aides about reducing capital gains taxes MORE (D-Wis.), Marcia FudgeMarcia Louise FudgeBooker unveils legislation for federal bill to ban discrimination against natural hair Kamala Harris aide says in resignation letter: 'I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly' Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to testify on Libra | Extremists find home on Telegram app | Warren blasts Facebook for not removing anti-Biden ad | California outlaws facial recognition in police body cameras | China rips US tech sanctions MORE (D-Ohio), Karen BassKaren Ruth BassThe US treats asylum seekers so poorly Lawmakers visit African migrants at US-Mexico border Preventative measures are needed in child welfare policy, data shows MORE (D-Calif.), Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellThe missing piece of the current health care debate House passes bill meant to restore Voting Rights Act Live coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings 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 ClintonWill the Horowitz report split the baby? Gabbard commemorates John Lennon's passing by singing 'Imagine' Bannon: Clinton waiting to enter 2020 race and 'save the Democratic Party from Michael Bloomberg' MORE as secretary of State, but she could face an uphill battle to win confirmation in the Senate.