Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld entered the lion’s den on Tuesday to defend claims he made in his book that were somewhat critical of then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
Rumsfeld, on a media tour to promote “Known and Unknown,” appeared on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” and denied the existence of a nexus with former Vice President Dick Cheney to undermine Rice. He explained to host Andrea Mitchell that as in any presidential administration, there were “differences of views.”
“She — I think the way to characterize it, as I did in my book and I tried to do it in a very accurate, balanced way and I think you’ll find that it’s fully supported on my website Rumsfeld.com, where I have the memos that describe these things. She tried to blend different opinions and of course, there’s always going to be differences of views. You’ve been in this town a long time and you George Schultz and Cap Weinberger and Brzezinski —”
Mitchell asked if that was the case with Rice, and whether that prevented her from being a more powerful NSA adviser.
“I’ve never even heard that suggest[ed],” Rumsfeld said. “Absolutely not. I’ve never heard anyone other than you say that. She liked to try to take differing views, which is understandable, and try to merge them, so that took time.”
“Neither one of them were involved at all,” Rumsfeld explained. “They were on the outside listening to people two or three levels down. No, I’ve not read their books.”