CIA director David Petraeus resigns over extramarital affair
David Petraeus was sworn in as CIA director in September 2011.
November 9th, 2012
07:59 PM ET

CIA director David Petraeus resigns over extramarital affair

Editor's note: Retired Gen. David Petraeus stepped down Friday as head of the Central Intelligence Agency - 14 months after taking the job, days after the presidential election and days before he was to testify before Congress about an attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead.

[Updated at 7:59 p.m.] Speaking on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront," Rep. Peter King (R-New York) called Petraeus' resignation "a real loss for the country, a real loss for the CIA."

"We're going to lose the best man for the job, but again America is adaptable," said the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "Put it this way, anytime you lose a David Petraeus, the country is not as safe as it could be."
[Updated at 7:11 p.m.] The FBI investigated a tip that the woman Petraeus was involved in an extramarital affair with was Paula Broadwell, who co-wrote a biography about him, a U.S. official said.

Broadwell spent a year with Petraeus in Afghanistan, interviewing him for the book "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus."

CNN has not been been able to reach Broadwell for comment. It is not clear if Broadwell is the woman with whom Petraeus had admitting having an affair, leading to his resignation Friday as the head of the CIA.

[Updated at 5:43 p.m.] After getting a tip that Petraeus was involved in an extramarital affair, the FBI launched an investigation to see if this relationship posed a "potential security risk," a U.S. official said. The official added there is no suggestion the FBI was probing Petraeus for any criminal wrongdoing, only because they feared he might be "in a vulnerable spot."

[Updated at 5:40 p.m.] The woman who David Petraeus had an affair with was not a member of the armed forces or the CIA, sources close to Petraeus told HLN's Kyra Phillips. The retired general is extremely disappointed in himself and devastated that he's hurt his family, the sources say.

[Updated at 4:52 p.m.] Acting CIA Director Michael Morrell will testify next week before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the fatal attack in Benghazi instead of David Petraeus, according to the office of that committee's chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

[Updated at 4:25 p.m.] U.S. Sen. John McCain extolled Petraeus as one of "America's greatest military heroes," expressing his gratitude for his "decades of work on behalf of our nation, our military and our security." McCain, an Arizona Republican and the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, added, "His inspirational leadership and his genius were directly responsible - after years of failure - for the success of the surge in Iraq."

[Updated at 3:59 p.m.] Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, "I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation, but I understand and respect the decision."

The California Democrat praised Petraeus for giving the CIA "leadership, stature, prestige and credibility both at home and abroad," calling him reliably in "command of intelligence issues" and "especially cooperative with Congress."

[Updated at 3:53 p.m.] The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee praised outgoing CIA Director David Petraeus, saying, "I regret his resignation and wish him and his family the very best."

"Gen. Petraeus is one of America's most outstanding and distinguished military leaders and a true American patriot," said Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York.

[Updated at 3:41 p.m.] David Petraeus met with President Barack Obama on Thursday, at which time the then CIA director offered his resignation, a senior administration official said. The president then formally accepted Petraeus' resignation in a phone call Friday afternoon, according to the same official.

[Updated at 3:38 p.m.] President Obama said, in a statement, that today he accepted Petraeus' resignation as CIA director.

The president added he is "completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission," now under the leadership of Acting Director Michael Morrell.

Obama lauded Petraeus for his "extraordinary service to the United States for decades," calling him "one of the outstanding general officers of his generation" and praising his work as CIA director.

The president concluded by saying, "Going forward, my thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus, who has done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best in this difficult time." Holly Petraeus led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Servicemembers Affairs.

[Updated at 3:17 p.m.] Shortly before Petraeus' resignation was announced, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that "the president thinks Gen. Petraeus has done an excellent job."

When asked about the general's job status, Carney reiterated that President Obama approves of the job done by the CIA director while adding, "I don't have personnel announcements to make from here today."

[Updated at 3:13 p.m.] Petraeus issued a statement announcing his resignation, saying, "After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.

"Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation."

[Initial post, 3:08 p.m.] CIA Director David Petraeus submitted his resignation Friday to President Barack Obama, citing personal reasons, a U.S. government source said.

According to the source, Petraeus admitted to having an extramarital affair when he asked to resign.

A retired U.S. Army general who served as the top U.S. commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, Petraeus was sworn in as the head of the CIA in September 2011.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a statement Friday confirming that Petraeus had turned in his resignation, saying his "decision to step down represents the loss of one of our nation's most respected public servants."

soundoff (1,559 Responses)
  1. DaveNYUSA

    Great ! One of the VERY FEW people in DC that WASN'T a typical Obama-appointed moron.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      4 MORE YEARS!!!!! LOL

      November 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wes Scott

      Your comment proves that not all morons are appinted by Obama to government positions. The article stated, "Holly Petraeus led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Servicemembers Affairs." I wonder if she was managing the affairs of her husband, or just other servicemembers. Pimping out her own husband would be so... republiKKKan!

      November 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BubbaGMan

    Why does he have to fall?

    More than half the men in this country, and likely most of Congress, have had extra marital affairs. It's actually an industry. Just go to Ashleymadison dot com and hook up with another unsatisfied married person.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • traveler74

      He had to step down because as leader of the CIA, an affair such as this could be used agaisnt him as blackmail. So it is not because he did what so many married people do (aka, have affairs) it is more so because he had an affair AND he works in a very sensitive job where that information could be used against him or to "make him talk" so to speak.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BillyBob

    I hear his wife now calls him General Betray Us!

    November 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • TC

      Well said, betrayed his wife/family and our country...

      November 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeaux Bleaus

      What's Hillary's pet name for Bill?

      November 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Wow, did you just make that up?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillyBob

      Hillary's pet name for Bill? Just delete the first "n" in his last name and put a dash after the "t"

      November 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John D

    That's unfortunate. He's a very competent executive.

    Then again, if the head of a spy agency can't cover up something like this...

    November 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. anony

    God help that woman when TMZ or the National Enquirer finds her.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • PigMan

      Who says it was with a woman?

      November 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kathryn

      I'm sure they already know who she is. He resigned because she decided to tell-all and he just wanted to get in front of the story that's going to break shortly!

      November 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill Green

    In these days in age I do not think anyone should resign from a job because of an affair. The whole support system would collapse if everyone who has an affair resigns from their jobs. He should learn from it, keeps his job, keeps his wife or not, and move on. An affair is an opportunity to learn " What am I not facing? What am I afraid of?" and to forgive everyone involved and to apologize and to keep doing ones job. It is not illegal or a crime to have an affair.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Suppose his mistress steals his laptop with state secrets on it and sells it for 25 million dollars to Iran. Still no big deal?

      November 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • fastball

      Yes, but you're the head of the CIA – and the risk of blackmail and extortion could be catastrophic for the nation's security.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Suzanne Ennis

    I just love a General who knows how to disarm the enemy and then gets ready to drop the bombs!

    November 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Phil from Dallas

    If he was still in the army, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, adultery will get you a Court Martial.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. teknoaxe

    I find it interesting no one is quoting the U.S. Military Code of Justice here. Having an affair with someone other than your wife is technically punishable under the military. Even more so if the person he had an affair with was in the military themselves.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bonzi

      He's not in the military any more, so military law does not apply. He's a civilian in charge of the CIA.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. russ

    judge not lest ye be judged

    November 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Suzanne Ennis

    I love a General who knows how to disarm the enemy and then gets ready to drop the bombs!

    November 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. lila

    Isn't he a Republican? The only thing we are curious about is it a he or a she.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Randy

    He is retired from the army. The UCMJ does not apply.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alienate

      But when did it start?

      November 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mmm

    I respect him from resigning. I remember when Clinton had an affair and didn't resign.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phineas

      Clinton wasn't the head of an agency which demands marital fidelity.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeaux Bleaus

      "Clinton wasn't the head of an agency which demands marital fidelity."

      Infinity = the number of excuses made for Billy Jeff by his loyal supporters.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phineas

      I didn't vote for Clinton; thus, I can hardly be labeled a 'loyal supporter'

      November 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Already?

    Was she Afghani or Iraqui?

    November 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.