Former press secretaries and political operatives from both sides of the aisle said it may be time to retire Rice from the media glare to protect the White House from further harm, although in both the Benghazi and Bergdahl instances it wasn’t Rice who deviated from the administration’s talking points; in fact, she was following them, aides said.

One former senior Obama administration official suggested it was too risky now for the White House to put Rice back on Sunday TV.

“I think the two fairly recent Rice appearances show that while these shows aren’t important in terms of advancing your agenda, they can very much derail their agenda if you screw up on them,” the official said. “She has now done it twice.” …

“What that results in is you now have a national security advisor going on shows carrying the president’s political water,” the ex-official said. “That’s fraught with peril because usually national security officials will get a lot of latitude on national security matters but when they start to politicize it all bets are off and you open yourself up to a lot of criticism.”