CIA Director David Petraeus has announced he will resign from the Central Intelligence Agency.
Petraeus, age 60, released a statement on Friday obtained by CNN confirming that his resignation has already been accepted by US President Barack Obama, who nominated him to replace General Stanley A. McChrystal as the commander of US Forces in Afghanistan in June 2010. A four-star general, Petraeus retired from the Army in August 2011 and was sworn in as new CIA chief one month later.
According to the statement, Petraeus’ stepping down is due to personal reasons, namely an affair he now admits to having outside of his relationship with his wife.
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment from engaging in an extramarital affair,”writes Petraeus. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”
Petraeus says he informed President Obama of his decision on Thursday and writes, “This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.” Multiple sources speaking to NBC News suggest that Mike Morrell, the deputy CIA director and a long time CIA officer, will be the likely replacement for Petraeus.
Pres. Obama publically acknowledged the resignation mid-day Friday by releasing a statement to the media:
“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.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper provided a statement to the Washington Post after the news broke confirming the resignation.
“Dave’s decision to step down represents the loss of one of our nation’s most respected public servants. From his long, illustrious Army career to his leadership at the helm of CIA, Dave has redefined what it means to serve and sacrifice for one’s country,” wrote Clapper. “Under his leadership, the CIA remained instrumental in providing our policy makers decision advantage through the best possible intelligence. I’m particularly thankful for Dave’s unwavering support and personal commitment to my efforts to lead the Intelligence Community and integrate our intelligence enterprise.”