Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Condi Rice says she doesn't appreciate "the attack on [her] integrity" implied by a recounting in Cheney's memoir.

Condi Rice fires back at Dick Cheney

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins Colin Powell in protesting claims made by Dick Cheney in his memoir.

The heads are still exploding from former vice president Dick Cheney's recently published memoir.

The latest blow-up, on Wednesday, came from former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Rice spoke out against several claims about her in Cheney’s book, “In My Time: A Personal and Professional Memoir,” saying that she viewed it as an “attack on my integrity.”

In an interview with Reuters Wednesday, Rice protested Cheney’s suggestion that she had misled President George W. Bush about nuclear diplomacy
with North Korea.

"I kept the president fully and completely informed about every in and out of the negotiations with the North Koreans," Rice told Reuters in her first public comments on the matter. "You can talk about policy differences without suggesting that your colleague somehow misled the president. You know, I don't appreciate the attack on my integrity that that implies."

In the book, Cheney argues former Secretary of State Rice was naïve for trying to reach a nuclear weapons agreement with North Korea and that the concessions she delivered to Kim Jong Il were wrong. He called her advice on the issue “utterly misleading.”

Cheney was also extremely critical in the book of anyone who he said stood in the way of the president’s Iraq war plan, including Rice. He chided Rice for clashing with White House advisors on the tone of the president’s speeches on Iraq.

Rice disputed a passage in Cheney’s books concerning her reaction to Bush’s comments on Iraq’s supposed search for uranium for nuclear arms in a 2003 State of the Union speech. In the memoir, Cheney says the secretary of state "tearfully admitted" that the Bush administration should not have apologized for a claim the president made in his 2003 State of the Union address on the supposed search for uranium.

She “came into my office, sat down in the chair next to my desk, and tearfully admitted I had been right,” Cheney wrote in the book.

Rice fired back in the Reuters interview.

"It certainly doesn't sound like me, now, does it?" Rice said. "I would never – I don't remember coming to the vice president tearfully about anything in the entire eight years that I knew him."

Rice isn’t the first Bush aide to fire back at Cheney’s controversial book. Her predecessor, former secretary of state Colin Powell, vigorously contested several of the book’s claims earlier this week, saying the disclosures were “cheap shots that [Cheney is] taking at me and other members of the administration who served to the best of our ability for President Bush.”

Cheney has refused to apologize for any of the claims his colleagues are now contesting.

The president himself commented on the book Thursday, but he remained above the fray, telling “Fox and Friends,” he isn’t bothered by Cheney’s memoir.

“I’m glad members of my family are giving their version of what it was like to serve our country,” Bush told Fox. “I did the same thing. I put my version out there. And eventually, objective historians will analyze our administration and will draw objective conclusions.”

Rice will have plenty of opportunity to fire back at Cheney this fall. Her book, “No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington,” comes out November 1.

Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.

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