Rice banned Bush from returning after 9/11
CONDOLEEZZA RICE has revealed that she shouted at then US president George Bush and banned him from returning to Washington to run the country in the chaotic few hours following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Roughly 30 minutes after terrorists flew a second hijacked plane into the World Trade Centre in New York, Ms Rice, then the National Security Adviser, became involved in a heated exchange with Mr Bush when he telephoned to announce plans to fly back to the White House, which at the time was still considered a potential terrorist target, to take control of the unfolding security crisis.
She told him several times to remain in the comparative safety of Florida, where he'd been visiting a school at the time of the attacks.
When Mr Bush attempted to over-rule her, Ms Rice responded by shouting at him.
Before he could further argue the toss, she promptly ended the call.
"The president got on the phone and he said: 'I'm coming back'," she recalled, in an interview for a British documentary.
"I said: 'You cannot come back here. The United States of America is under attack, you have to go to safety. We don't know what is going on here.' He said: 'I'm coming back.'
"I said: 'You can't.' I said to him in a raised voice, and I had never raised my voice to the president before, 'You cannot come back here.' I hung up.
"The president was quite annoyed with me to say the least. I've known the president a long time and I knew that he wanted nothing more than to be there at the helm of the ship."
Ms Rice's comments, which will be aired in Channel Four documentary '9/11: State of Emergency' on Saturday, provide an intriguing insight into the circumstances surrounding Mr Bush's immediate response to the 2001 terrorist attack. (© Independent News Service)