CIA Director David Petraeus resigned on Friday because of an extra-marital affair. The resignation was first reported by MSNBC. NBC and other outlets are reporting the disclosure was preceded by a FBI investigation into Paula Broadwell, Petraeus's biographer, for attempting to access his email.
The White House released this statement from President Obama Friday afternoon:
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.
Here is Petraeus' resignation letter, obtained by CNN.
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
Petraeus was sworn in as director of the CIA in September 2011, after serving as commander of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan. Petraeus previously served as commanding general of the Multi-National Force-Iraq under President Bush from February 2007 to September 2008, where he was one of the architects of the 2007 troop surge. After serving in Iraq, Petraeus headed U.S. Central Command from October 2008 until June 2010.
Petraeus's name was also often thrown into the ring as a Republican presidential or vice-presidential possibility, although he denied earlier this year that he had interest in seeking elected office.
Obama said Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell will serve as acting director.
See the latest updates on this story here.
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