Petraeus to reporter: I didn’t resign over Benghazi, never gave mistress classified info
Former CIA Director David Petraeus’ resignation was not linked to the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attack, and he did not provide his former mistress with classified information, HLN reporter Kyra Phillips said Thursday that the four-star general told her.
According to Phillips, Petraeus made it clear that “he screwed up terribly” and “it was all his fault.”
“Obviously he’s taking it really hard,” Phillips told Robin Meade on HLN’s “Morning Express” program.
“He knows he made a big mistake. He does want to move forward making things work with his family. He doesn’t want to throw 37 years out the window with his wife.”
Phillips added that Petraeus said he and his former mistress Paula Broadwell have not spoken since the scandal broke. He insisted that he never gave Broadwell classified information and that he resigned over the affair, not the Benghazi terrorist attack.
“He has said this has nothing to do with Benghazi and he wants to testify. He will testify. He has maintained to me all along this was a personal failing, Robin, which, as I said, to me was quite stunning and to many other people. He’s not the type of person that I’ve ever known to fail at anything, knowing [him] as long as I have over the years. And so he has made it very clear that this was about an extramarital affair and not over classified information or Benghazi.”
The HLN reporter added that while Petraeus is “saying it’s all his fault,” Broadwell needs to weigh in as well.
Petraeus is scheduled to testify before Congress Friday about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the murder of four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador.
National security officials told the New York Daily News on Wednesday that investigators found classified information on Broadwell’s computer.
Broadwell, an Army reserve officer in military intelligence, has also seen had her security clearance suspended, according to published reports.
During a rare press conference Wednesday, President Barack Obama said he had no evidence that “classified information was disclosed that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security” as a result of the scandal.
The affair was exposed when Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, a friend of Petraeus, received threatening emails prompting an FBI investigation which traced the them back to Broadwell — who reportedly saw Kelley as a romantic threat — and the affair.
In the course of the investigation, the FBI discovered potentially inappropriate, flirtatious emails between Kelley and Marine Gen. John Allen, the top military commander in Afghanistan.
Allen has denied any wrongdoing.
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