Obama names Rice as national security adviser

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Susan Rice (AP Photo)

Susan Rice (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shaking up his national security team, President Barack Obama tapped diplomat Susan Rice as his national security adviser, defying Republicans who have vigorously criticized her faulty explanation about the attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

“Susan is the consummate public servant — a patriot who puts her country first,” Obama said while announcing Rice’s appointment Wednesday during a Rose Garden ceremony.

Rice will take over the top national security post from Tom Donilon, who is resigning after four years in the White House. Obama lauded the 58-year-old Donilon for having “shaped every single national security policy of my presidency,” including the renewed U.S. focus on ties with Asia.

Obama also announced the nomination of former aide Samantha Power to replace Rice as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Power is a human rights advocate and expert on genocide.

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