U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice withdrew her name for consideration as the next Secretary of State on Thursday saying she was “saddened” her potential nomination was politicized and that she feared her nomination would distract the country from more pressing needs. In an interview with NBC’s Brian Williams last night, Rice said that her “greatest regret” was that what happened to Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi on Sept. 11 “has been lost in all of this debate over talking points and over me.” Referring to the politicization of the talking points she presented on the Benghazi attacks, Rice added: “I don’t think anybody is ever wholly blameless but I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t mislead. I didn’t misrepresent. I did the best with the information that the United States government had at the time.” Watch the interview:
In other news:
The AP reports: The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said Friday.
Reuters reports that the new leader of Syria’s opposition said the Syrian people no longer need the intervention of international forces as rebels push towards the heart of the capital of Damascus to topple President Bashar al-Assad. Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry acknowledged that Assad is losing the struggle against rebel forces.
The Wall Street Journal reports: The U.S. imposed new sanctions on Iran on Thursday as it sought to step up pressure on the country’s nuclear program. The U.S. Treasury Department targeted seven companies and five individuals with ties to Iran’s uranium-enrichment program.
Reuters reports: The U.N. atomic agency failed to gain access to a military site in talks with Iran this week but expects to reach a deal in January to resume a stalled nuclear probe, the chief U.N. inspector said after returning from Tehran on Friday.