In a heated exchange, Dr Condoleezza Rice had to argue with the US president George Bush, who was in Florida, telling him not to return to the White House because it was a potential terrorist target.
She told the British Channel 4 documentary: ''The president got on the phone and he said: 'I'm coming back.'
Condoleezza Rice ordered George Bush not to return to Washington after the 9/11 attacks before Get off the phone, the former national security adviser has revealed in a documentary interview.
''I said: 'You cannot come back here. The United States of America is under attack, you have to go to safety. We don't know what is going on here.'
''He said: 'I'm coming back.' I said: 'You can't.'
''I said to him in a raised voice, and I had never raised my voice to the president before, I said: 'You cannot come back here.' I hung up.
''The president was quite annoyed with me to say the least … I knew that he wanted nothing more than to be there at the helm of the ship.''
The documentary is showing on the Nine Network in Australia tonight.
Dr Rice also revealed that the bunker beneath the White House where she was sheltering with vice-president Dick Cheney began to run out of air. Secret Service agents ''went around telling people that they weren't essential and they had to leave''.
Mr Bush gave the order authorising the air force to shoot down any commercial airliner that was not responding. When United Airlines flight 93 came down, Dr Rice and the other officials believed it may have been shot out of the sky.
She said: ''I got on the phone with somebody at the National Military Command Centre … just saying: 'You must know whether or not you you've shot down a commercial airliner. That was just a horrible thought that the American Air Force would have shot down innocent civilians.''