For several months on the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump blasted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for the way she handled classified information during her tenure as secretary of state. Now, Trump is considering appointing a controversial Obama administration figure who pled guilty to mishandling classified information to fill the post of top diplomat.
According to Bloomberg, Trump has been taken aback by the response to the Mitt Romney trial balloon and plans to meet meet in New York today with retired Gen. David Petraeus, who served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama. Petraeus was widely credited with improving the military situation in Iraq and Afghanistan under former President George W. Bush, and he was confirmed as director of central intelligence with a unanimous vote in the Senate. However, Petraeus ultimately resigned in disgrace from the post after it was revealed that he inappropriately allowed his biographer — with whom he was having an affair — to access to classified documents.
Petraeus was criminally charged as a result of the incident and as part of a plea deal admitted to inappropriately accessing and storing classified information, as well as lying to FBI and CIA investigators during the course of the investigation. He agreed to pay a $100,000 fine, serve two years of probation and resigned his post at the CIA.
If Trump does tap Petraeus for secretary of state, it will likely galvanize Senate Democrats in opposition and place Senate Republicans — many of whom sharply criticized Clinton for her handling of classified emails — in a difficult spot.