Condoleezza Rice on Confronting Donald Rumsfeld

The former secretary of state discusses Iraq War, her new memoir.
5:24 | 11/01/11

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Transcript for Condoleezza Rice on Confronting Donald Rumsfeld
Condoleezza Rice has written a hard hitting new book about her eight years in the bush administration's -- no higher honor. -- memoir of my years in Washington and it. The former national security advisor and secretary of state does not hold back he -- detailed and often disturbing portrait of policy making during a time of war. But I began when I said -- by asking -- question she doesn't directly addressing her memoir. Was the long and costly war in Iraq works is worth the sacrifice. Every international relations class starts with the Middle East is the most volatile region and the world. We also now know that it was the cradle of al-Qaeda and extremism. And therefore can't -- listen in Iraq in all likelihood al-Qaeda well do -- some -- -- -- -- society. The salt Lake -- with Egyptian. This -- -- how he -- that this came out of the Middle East. Now we didn't go into Iraq to bring democracy to the Iraqis and I try in the book to really explain that that wasn't the person -- -- administration -- -- -- -- well but we were very clear about this. The Social Security threat and I as much as anybody. Understand. And really regret the cost particularly in lives. But I also know that nothing. Value is ever won without sacrifice couldn't happen at a lower cost. I don't. We don't know Howell I don't think that Saddam was removable by any other means. Rice has been the target a fellow Bush Administration officials critical for performance during the war including Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld should never served in in -- senior. The administration. Position she'd get an academic and you know a lot of academics like -- have meetings in her book she fires back. The Defense Department didn't -- -- critical times at one point after several clashes she even confronted Rumsfeld outside the Oval Office. I -- them you know I don't know what's gone wrong between us and today he said he did neither when he says something about my being bright and it's sort of not a word being I just thought it was one of those words that you don't use about a colleague -- sending you know I I -- about my students sometimes not condescending -- An undetermined inequality. Then there was Vice President Dick Cheney. Dismissive of her in his book. He also said that rice tearfully admitted he was right after disagreements over whether to apologize for those sixteen words and Iraq's WMD. In the bush state of the union. -- you go to him with -- Or aren't not that I remember how -- sort of -- like me I didn't I did talent that he was right. That the press would react to the particular -- -- admitting that the sixteen -- have not should not the president's speech. But careful how it's usually Vice President Cheney came away from this less respect. Priest asked if you -- competent secretary of state. His answers in some regards -- clearly did not like the turn of policy. After I became secretary of state that's very clear. But. I never felt that was personal I still have high respect -- high regard for him you also write that he created a cycle of distrust. And dysfunction didn't -- this dysfunction. Add to the price -- paid in Iraq. We could have done better and you're right -- -- -- -- back on this I think all of the defendant. More smoothly functioning team might we have gotten some of these issues out under the table and resolve. But he also remember that this was the big proposition Iraq. Her description of security scares inside the White House read like thinking straight out of -- thriller. Like October 2001. The president has just arrived in Shanghai. The price. -- -- came on the screen and sent that. The White House detectors have detected -- -- approximate and we were all. Those -- exposed percent of -- he said yes he said and I remember everybody just sort of freezing in the presence saying what closeup. Most of it including the president and including the present because the exposure time. Would have meant that we were all exposed. Rice's deputy said they'd run tests but that would take 24. Hours. He said let me put it this way. If the mice are feet. -- -- We're toast if the mice have beaten down Wear find a way to thank you for 24 hours we didn't -- the president have been poisoned for 24 hours I. -- on the phone he -- the mice -- feet down. I went back to the president and I said the minds of feet down the presence of that's a good thing and I'm sure the Chinese pilot got a translation but it was some sort of code. Perhaps nothing was more -- -- her encounter with the late Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi. He was fixated on her bringing rice inside his private kitchen to show her personal video. It was actually just a bunch of pictures of me he said and I had -- Best composer most famous composer write the song for -- and it was called black flower in the White House. And I thought well this is a really really strange. Strange moment in my time as secretary of state and I ate quickly and got on the plane would -- -- -- from. I think about he lived inside his -- head I don't think she really wanted anything. Same behind the scenes stuff their from the former secretary of state of more Miami tonight on Nightline.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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