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Jill Abramson says Condoleezza Rice asked her to 'kill a story' about the CIA during NYT tenure

"I don’t think I uttered much more than ‘hello’ and ‘I will think of what you said.'" Abramson said.

By Matt Bradwell

NEW YORK, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson says then-national security adviser Condoleeza Rice personally requested the paper kill a story about the CIA and Iran, a request Abramson honored.

Abramson told 60 Minutes' Leslie Stahl that Rice requested a face-to-face meeting with the Times' top editor wherein Rice asked Abramson to pull reporter James Risen from a story he was working on about the CIA's failure to stymie Iran's fledgling nuclear program.

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"She had a legal yellow notebook on her lap with lots of notes on it, and once I had taken a seat across from her, she barely looked up," Abramson said.

"She basically read in a very stern manner from her notes on this legal pad, which were just point after point about why this story would be damaging to the national security. I don't think I uttered much more than 'hello' and 'I will think of what you said.'"

Abramson said Rice's unbreakable goal was "to make sure that Jim ceases all reporting on this story, which was really an extraordinary request."

Abramson eventually granted Rice's extraordinary request, a decision she says she regrets

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"It seemed, in the calculus of all of the major stories we were dealing with at that point, not worth it to me and I regret that decision now."

Risen's story was eventually published in his 2006 book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.

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