Obama chooses Susan Rice for national security adviser


US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice speaks during a Security Council meeting in September.



US President Barack Obama on Wednesday appointed Susan Rice, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, as his new national security adviser, reported USA Today

"Susan understands there is no substitute for American leadership," Obama announced in a Rose Garden event at the White House. 

The promotion will see 48-year-old Rice replace Tom Donilon, whom Reuters described as "low-key." The president's selection does not require Senate confirmation. 

Rice responded by saying she was "deeply honored" and excited to take on a new role because "we have vital opportunities to seize and ongoing challenges to confront," according to USA Today.

Rice was Obama's top choice to replace Clinton as Secretary of State, a job that went to John Kerry after she withdrew her candidacy, according to Reuters

She has been a frequent target of Republican outrage over the administration's handling of the deadly attack on a US facility in Libya's Benghazi.

Rice told the media following the incident that Libyan violence was sparked by Muslim anger over a US-made anti-Islam film, but some US officials have since claimed this was not the case. 

As Fox News put it, "Republicans bristled at the news that Rice was being named to the new position," quoting Republican Senator Rand Paul as accusing her of "misleading" the public on Benghazi.

Rice's defendants say she was not responsible for the so-called "talking points" and was merely following instructions.

"Ambassador Rice went out to the Sunday shows and conveyed what was the intelligence community's best assessment of what had happened in Benghazi at the time," White House press spokesman Jay Carney said, according to Reuters

Also Wednesday, the US leader picked National Security Council aide Samantha Power fill Rice's role at the United Nations, praising her as "one of our foremost thinkers on foreign policy," reported USA Today.