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. ReadOnceInAWhile

    If you read the article you would've seen ths:
    [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.

    Which means that the head of the CIA WILL testify in front of Congress next week. He knows the same information as Petraeus and will be compelled to state the facts. So no, this isn't about Libya, Petraeus made a mistatke and decided to face the consequences.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reload

      yea, right.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • robert

      And I have some beach front property in Ohio for sell.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      That much koolaid is going to make you fat.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken27

      Nope, you are completely wrong.

      That is like saying that the President knew everything about Libya just after it happened.

      Oh wait, he did but lied about it.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • RF Burns

      You are being naive.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Carole

    I had so much respect for this man but why should I be surprised. He is a male with male hormones and the animal comes out of them regardless of their positions.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Erika Murdock

    Who cares about the affair? The question is, did he do his job? That is more important than his personal life. I'm sick of media exposing personal crap. What is important, are people who are in higher ranks doing their job.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      If his own spouse he swore to honor and cherish cant trust him, why are you so gullible/naive as to trust him to do his job?

      November 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • RF Burns

      He's a cheater and a liar. And you thnk that's OK for the head of the CIA? You think maybe he's a security risk for possible blackmail? Pahleeze!

      November 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. AgonyF

    He could have done a lot worse than Paula Broadwell.

    You should watch her on the Daily Show:


    November 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mr.Paul

    Lol at no one died under the Clinton affair. You're right moron, no one died except a few Americans and lots of Kenyans from the us embassy bombing.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. works4me

    What an amazing weapon, that part of the female anatomy.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dr Matrix

    So he lived up to the name gave him; Gen Betrayus

    November 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1234

      All fine and good, but, has anybody been following the stuff going on along Euphrates River and the book of revelations in Bible. People get ready!

      November 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Montroc

    Probably get slammed for this, but women in the military tend to get around. I'm an army brat and if you get in with a woman in the military, odds are you're taking a path well traveled!

    November 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chad

    Interesting that the infidelity occured while he was still on active duty, which would make it a violation of the UCMJ. So, as most of you know, they kick you out of the military for such things and more than likely at some point in his career he saw fit to kick people out of the military for the same thing he did. So, what goes around my friend eventually comes back to bite you.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom masri

      No man is perfect, unless you are.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mary Orr

    So sorry aim a military spouse to wife's left behind a lot for military duties

    November 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. lorne riley

    Another great American Zero

    November 9, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pntkl

    in regione caecorum rex est luscus

    November 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • humberto

      You don't have to be brave to die for your country.

      November 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • pntkl

      And yet a country may die when there are no more brave left to sustain it.

      November 11, 2012 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. pntkl

    Sed quis custodiet ipsos Custodes?

    November 9, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. miza

    he truly represent how bad america culture is.. am proudly you decided to elect an african president who dont cheat on his wife, like many other previous white president..
    , my advice next election elect an african republican black president who am sure will barn abortion and gay union..crazy american...African hureeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    November 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • azim

      Color is irrelevant.

      November 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pntkl

    Rarus fidus amicus.

    November 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
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