POSTED: Friday, December 14, 2012 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Friday, December 14, 2012 - 11:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration for Secretary of State.
Her decision comes in response to criticism she has been facing for her description of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans in September.
Rice was seen as President Obama's favorite to follow Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In an exclusive interview with NBC's Brian Williams for Thursday's Rock Center, Rice explained her decision.
"I didn't want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting and very disruptive because there are so many things we need to get done as a country," she said.
The president accepted her decision and praised Rice during an interview with NBC affiliate KCRA.
"She has done an outstanding job. I could not be prouder with her," Mr. Obama said.
President Obama also made clear that despite this twist, Rice will remain in his inner circle.
Many now expect President Obama will now nominate Senator John Kerry to the post.