Rice backs off Iraq 'imminent threat' claim, then redefines term
In this video from ABC's morning program This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asks Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice if Iraq ever posed an "imminent threat" to the United States.
"I think that -- an imminent threat. Certainly Iraq posed a threat," Rice responds. "The question was, was it going to get worse over time or was it going to get better."
Rice goes on to say that the Bush administration assessment was that the threat from Iraq was "getting worse" and had to be dealt with.
"But [Iraq was] not an imminent threat," presses Stephanopoulous.
"George, the question of imminence isn't whether or not someone will strike tomorrow, it's whether you believe you're in a stronger position today to deal with the threat or whether you're going to be in a stronger position tomorrow," replies Rice. "It was the president's assessment that the situation in Iraq was getting worse from our point of view."
Rice's redefinition of the term "imminent threat," comes just over a month after former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton appeared on CNN claiming that the President never made the argument that Saddam Hussein posed an "imminent threat." As RAW STORY reported last month, a number of Bush administration officials used the term in the run up to the Iraq war.
The following video clips are from ABC's This Week.