WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rapped the White House yesterday for dragging its feet on appointing a critical agency head under her authority.
Her comments were her most direct slap at the administration since she assumed her post -- and highly unusual coming from a Cabinet official. Clinton spoke during a town-hall-style meeting in Washington with employees of the directorless US Agency for International Development.
Asked why it has taken more than six months to get someone named, she said it wasn't her fault.
"Let me say it's not for lack of trying," she said. " . . . The clearance and vetting process is a nightmare. It is frustrating beyond words. I pushed very hard last week, when I knew I was coming here, to get permission from the White House to be able to tell you that help is on the way and that someone will be nominated shortly. I was unable. The message came back: 'We're not ready.' "
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MAD-AME SECRETARY HITS TOO-SLOW WHITE HOUSE
NY POST - By GEOFF EARLE, Post Correspondent