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. numbnut

    Chris, do you think CNN is the only news source that will be reporting this?

    November 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldJoe

      google, bing or yahoo search:

      "petraeus affair"

      How the mighty have fallen.
      Down in flames.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      What does it matter? Their all shape shifters & criminal cabal,card carrying liars

      November 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lib

    I agree keith. It is better to just get a divorce. I wonder if men really believe it is worth losing their jobs and status because of cheating. Ironic that a man who held such a position and obviously served his country with honor could not find the courage to just say No.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Taylor

      YOU folks know that Newt and many top Reps got divorce for having affairs but they didnt loose their jobs. I mean many wanted Newt for Pres LOL YEAP those wonderful family values.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The First Stone

    Is this really a reason to resign? Was the affair with a spy or something?

    And all you self righteous backsides...get a grip. More than half of all married people report – self report - in surveys that they have had affairs. The real problem is not infidelity, it is an ancient out of date "morality" that equates love with monogamy.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hitman

      Source please!

      November 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Etch A. Sketch

      He's a 4-star General and head of the CIA. The most important General in the last 6 years.

      He has a much higher moral and ethnic code to live up to ... because the image and security of the USA depends on it.

      He let us down.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Logic

    Unless his affair was with an enemy agent, I couldn't care less, as long as he did his job. It's pandering to the bible thumpers and the holier than thou 'values' people that is wrong.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phineas

      It's actually 'pandering' to an organization that asks as much from its operators and agents.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Doe

      Actually, it could be construed by members of foreign intelligence agencies as means to compromise and blackmail him.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texan

      The problem is that in his role, he's set himself up for blackmail, not a good place for a CIA Director to be. Also, I'm pretty sure the CIA has specifi rules against adultery therefore he's violated policy, a fireable offense.

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

      Texan, true; except in this instance, it's out in the open–he/she can't blackmail him.

      November 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. reader10

    Who is the other woman and for how long.Are we having a transparent government here.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phineas

      Who said anything about a woman?

      November 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. .?????

    Did he have an affair since Tuesday nigh? Ha

    November 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. No Justice

    I was fired for being gay by the security goons at CIA, and this creep cheats on his wife and gets sent off with a presidential thanks for his service? Shoot him in the parking lot I say.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SeaAngel1991

    Yeay, let's offer him some women so we can use him as a Bengazi scape (goat).

    November 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |

    Skyfall comes out today. Coincidence? Yes.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tvhasben

    If all of the politicians, bureaucrats, high ranking officials and assorted power brokers in
    Washington were to up and resign because of an extramarital affair, THERE WOULD BE VERY FEW PEOPLE LEFT TO RUN THE COUNTRY!!!

    November 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marvelous 1

    No one told Petraeus the CIA didn't stand for the Center for Inter-office Affairs. He went hog wild after leaving the military and discovering all these hot operatives.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. AgrippaMT

    Well, we always knew that General Betrayus was a flawed human being. He has now proven so decisively. Good riddance.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lynnmarie97

    Good Riddance! The rat was probably laid up in the bed with God know who whilst our men were dying in Benghazi! Benghazigate a big ol' cover up.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. James Taylor

    As long as if he was doing his job and keeping us safe I dont care about his private affairs. Is between him, his wife and God.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hitman

      Duh! When does your next album come out?

      November 9, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Danny

    I hope he gives the job to Saul and not Estes.

    November 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
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