Condoleezza Rice Thought George Bush Was Poisoned

11/01/2021 02:36 PM ET

Condoleezza Rice Thought Bush Was Poisoned - Condoleezza Rice has revealed the moment she thought that she and President George W. Bush had suffered deadly botulism poisoning. In her new book, the former secretary of state reveals that in the weeks following 9/11, there were scares over smallpox and radioactive attacks on Washington.

Then there was a potential poisonous toxin attack on the White House.

Condoleezza Rice accompanied the president on a trip to China for the APEC summit. In Shanghai Vice President Cheney appeared on a secure video conference line and delivered President George W. Bush this message:

"The Vice President came on the screen and said that the White House detectors have detected botulinum toxin, and we were all -- those of who exposed were going to die," Rice said to George Stephanopoulos in an interview for ABC news.

"I remember everybody just sort of freezing, and the President saying: 'What was that? What was that, Dick?'" she said. "We were just a little unnerved."

Botulinum toxin is, according to the Center for Biosecurity, the "most poisonous substance known" and "extremely potent and lethal." Rice said, the exposure time meant that she and those on the trip, Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Chief of Staff Andy Card were all at risk.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson sent the samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be tested on laboratory mice, she said. Rice writes in her new memoir, "No Higher Honor," that after that call Bush directed her to "find out what the hell is going on" from her deputy, Steven Hadley.

"[Hadley] has this very dry sense of humor. And he said, 'Let me put it this way. If the mice are feet up, we're toast. If the mice are feet down, we're fine,'" Rice told Stephanopoulos.

She added: "For 24 hours, we were in Shanghai, we did not know the results of those tests." Ms Rice writes that they acted "as if nothing had happened," but she wondered if "we’d get home before the toxin acted."

Around noon the next day Hadley called to tell Rice the mice were feet down, which she relayed to the President. Bush responded with, "Thats a good thing."

Follow Us


FacebookAdd our Facebook page to receive updates and participate in new tools and features. It's a great way to stay connected with all the latest news.

TwitterReceive daily bite-sized updates by following us on Twitter. Receive Tweet-sized 140-character updates on your mobile phone device or PC.

RSSSubscribe to our daily RSS feed to get the latest national news stories. We offer a feed for every topic including business, entertainment, health, politics, science & technology, travel and more.

Politics News