Donald Rumsfeld made Condoleezza Rice cry in the White House





Known as the Steel Magnolia in her youth, Miss Rice has guided the US through the war on terror, looked tyrants in the eye and faced down terrorist threats during her nation's darkest hours.
But a new book reveals that she was not so steadfast in facing down her own more personal enemies within the Bush administration.

Instead, Miss Rice was so fazed by former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that she burst into tears at a meeting in the White House situation room.

The floodgates opened for the then national security adviser in February 2004, as the Bush administration was wrestling with growing instability in Iraq and the legal status of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

A new biography of Vice President Dick Cheney, called Angler after his Secret Service codename, recounts how he and Mr Rumsfeld conspired to delay the military tribunals which the president had ordered to be set up to try the terrorist suspects.

Miss Rice tried repeatedly to organise a meeting with the most senior figures in the government to discuss the tribunals, but Mr Rumsfeld twice refused to attend, sending his deputy Paul Wolfowitz instead.

Pulitzer prize winning author Barton Gellman writes: "He did not regard her as an equal and barely hid it. The opinions of her staff did not interest him."

On finding Mr Rumsfeld absent from a second meeting, CIA director George Tenet was so angry that he defied a direct order from Miss Rice to sit down and marched out of the meeting, declaring: "This is bullshit."

The book goes on: "Something happened to Rice's face, control melting away. Her eyes welled up and her next words caught in her throat. The men in the room did not know where to look.

'She started to cry,' said one of them. 'And she said - I can't remember the exact words because I was so shaken - something like: "We will talk about this again," and she turned and walked quickly out of the door.'"


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