CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus resigned from his post after admitting to having an extramarital affair.
In a statement to CIA employees Friday, Petraeus said he submitted his resignation to President Barack Obama on Thursday and Obama accepted it Friday afternoon.
“After being married for over 37 years I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair,” Petreaus said. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”
Fox News reported the affair was with his biographer and was discovered during the course of an FBI investigation on an “unrelated and much broader case.” According to Fox, journalist and biographer Paula Broadwell’s name came up during the investigation, which led to uncovering the affair. The FBI had reportedly been concerned Petraeus might be some sort of victim, but no evidence to substantiate that has been uncovered.
Obama said in a statement Petraeus “has provided extraordinary service to the United States for decades” and that his lifetime of service “has made our country safer and stronger.”
Obama added that he has the utmost confidence in CIA Acting Director Michael Morell and that his “thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus.” Holly Petraeus serves in the Obama administration as part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The CIA has been under sharp scrutiny over the Sept. 11 terror attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that killed four Americans. Petraeus had been scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the assault, but a committee spokesman told Politico that Morell will now testify instead.
TheBlaze’s national security expert Buck Sexton questioned the rationale behind Petraeus’ resignation, saying an affair didn’t strike him as grounds for leaving his CIA post.
“While the military officially condemns adultery under its regulations, I’m not aware of a similar prohibition in the intelligence community,” Sexton said. “One could argue an affair creates a threat of blackmail, but the Petraeus resignation, coming so soon after Obama’s re-election, seems to leave many unanswered questions. Something is not right here.”
According to CNN, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters just before Petraeus’ resignation was announced that “the president thinks General Petraeus has done an excellent job.”
The retired four-star general took charge of the CIA in Sept. 2011 after leading the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Petraeus’ full resignation letter, via NBC News:
HEADQUARTERS Central Intelligence Agency
9 November 2012
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. 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.
As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation’s Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.
Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life’s greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.
Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.
With admiration and appreciation,
David H. Petraeus
President Barack Obama’s full statement:
David Petraeus has provided extraordinary service to the United States for decades. By any measure, he was one of the outstanding General officers of his generation, helping our military adapt to new challenges, and leading our men and women in uniform through a remarkable period of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he helped our nation put those wars on a path to a responsible end. As Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he has continued to serve with characteristic intellectual rigor, dedication, and patriotism. By any measure, through his lifetime of service David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger.
Today, I accepted his resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission, and I have the utmost confidence in Acting Director Michael Morell and the men and women of the CIA who work every day to keep our nation safe. 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 at this difficult time.
This post has been updated.