— From NBC's Libby Leist and Ken Strickland
One day after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the New York Post that some of former President Clinton's assertions in his Sunday FOX interview were "flatly false," Rice spokesman Sean McCormack sought to downplay any "Rice v. Clinton" stories. McCormack told reporters that Rice was not trying to make it a "personal issue" and that she "was merely answering some questions that were put to her in one of a number of different interviews she had scheduled yesterday."
McCormack said Rice believes that both President Clinton and Bush tried to fight al Qaeda, but "those efforts were clearly not enough," and that the government under both before September 11 was not organized to "fight the war that we're fighting now." As for any possible motives behind Clinton's defense of his efforts and his attack on the Bush Administration, McCormack said the reporters should ask those who were involved, but that there was "clearly... a lot of emotion in that interview."
At a news conference today about the NIE, Sen. Hillary Clinton defended her husband's heated interview, saying he "did a great job in demonstrating that Democrats are not going to take these attacks." And she took at swing at the Administration: "I'm certain that if my husband and his national security team had been shown a classified report entitled 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States,' he would have taken it more seriously that history suggests it was taken by our current president and his national security team."