U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from the list of candidates who could be nominated as the new secretary of state to replace outgoing Hillary Clinton.
President Barack Obama issued a statement Thursday saying that he accepts her resignation. He said Rice will continue to serve as U.N. envoy and as a key member of his cabinet.
Rice was heading that list of potential nominees until she faced a barrage of criticism of her interpretation of the September 11 attack on the U.S. mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi. Four U.S. diplomats were killed in that attack including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Republican lawmakers have accused Rice of misinterpreting the intelligence on who orchestrated the attack when she said it grew out of the protest against a U.S.-made amateur movie that ridiculed Islam.
It was later confirmed that the attack was organized by a terrorist group.
President Obama has defended Rice saying that she spoke on the information available at the time and that attack on her is misleading.