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Condoleezza Rice Thought The President Could Have Been Poisoned

Jackie Mansky |
November 2, 2011 | 4:18 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

For 24 hours in the fall of 2001 former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reveals that she, President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Chief of Staff Andy Card did not know whether or not they had been poisoned. 

It was during a trip to China for the APEC summit, very soon after 9/11 Rice wrote in her book “No Higher Honor: A Memoir in My Years in Washington” released yesterday.

Condoleezza Rice Courtesy of Creative Commons
Condoleezza Rice Courtesy of Creative Commons

Following September 11th, the country was on high alert and there were smallpox scares and radioactive threats in the White House reports Mail Online.

“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 in an interview with ABC News.

Botulinum toxin is one of the most toxic substances known and even microscopic amounts can cause illness or death according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

As they continued the trip, acting as though nothing had happened, President Bush directed her to "find out what the hell is going on" from her deputy Steven Hadley.

Hadley, the National Security Advisor explained that samples had been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be tested on laboratory mice.

Rice remembers Hadley—someone with a dry sense of humor according to Rice saying, “If the mice are feet up, we’re toast. If the mice are feet down, we’re fine.”

At around noon the next day, Hadley called Rice to tell her that the feet were down.

Rice told the president the line during the conference, feeling like she was delivering a code--which in a way she was.

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