The White House didn’t deny a report Friday that President Obama asked John F. Kerry to become Secretary of State a week before embattled U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice withdrew her name from consideration.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Mr. Obama made his choice of Mr. Kerry and announced it, but he wouldn’t address whether the offer was made before Mrs. Rice withdrew.
Mr. Kerry told The Boston Globe that the president asked him to serve as the nation’s top diplomat a week before Mrs. Rice withdrew over criticisms about her role in explaining the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed.
“He called me, actually a week before Susan got out of the thing,” Mr. Kerry said. “He called me and said, “You”re my choice. I want you to do this.” He asked me to keep it quiet. I did. I sat on it.”
The Senate has confirmed Mr. Kerry for the post. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is leaving the job Friday.