President Barack Obama met with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday in a wide-ranging talk that also included Rice giving the president a copy of her new book, the White House said.
The two met in the Oval Office for about a half hour and discussed "a range of national security issues," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
However, no details were disclosed, and Rice left without speaking to reporters.
Aides reported that Rice brought with her a personalized copy of her new book, "Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me." The volume describes Rice's childhood in segregated Birmingham, Ala. She also brought a copy of the young adult version for Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Earlier, in an appearance at the National Press Club, Rice discussed America's ongoing struggle with the question of race _ and also defended the decision to invade Iraq.
She said she knows President George W. Bush's decision remains controversial, especially since no weapons of mass destruction were found. But she said Saddam Hussein "had been a cancer in the region (and) every intelligence service in the world thought that he had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction."
Rice said historians can argue whether it was right to deal with Saddam immediately or later. "We decided he was a danger that needed to be dealt with then," she said.