David Petraeus has finally spoken to the media, telling an HLN reporter that he had not passed any classified info to Paula Broadwell and that his resignation had nothing to do with the Benghazi attack. The interview was off-camera, but reporter Kyra Phillips says that he "told me he had engaged in something dishonorable. He sought to do the honorable thing in response—and that was come forward." He said the affair ended months ago, and that he hasn't spoken to Broadwell since the scandal broke, CNN reports.
Other recent developments in the scandal:
- Before leaving the CIA, Petraeus had been at odds with National Intelligence Director James Clapper, the Pentagon, and other agencies, because Petraeus wanted to release a detailed timeline of the Benghazi attack in response to mounting criticism of the CIA, the Wall Street Journal reports. That left him with few allies in the administration when news of the affair broke.
- The Journal also reports that Petraeus' military background made for an uncomfortable fit at the CIA, with agents complaining of his more controlling style, and Petraeus bristling when much younger agents raised disagreements with him.
- Conspiracy theories are swirling around the dismissal. Judge Andrew Napolitano told Fox News yesterday that "someone obviously wanted to silence General Petraeus," adding that the Broadwell affair had been rumored since well before his CIA nomination, Mediaite reports.
- Napolitano pointed out that the CIA does a deep background check on new arrivals. And it turns out that if they'd checked Wikipedia at the right time, they might have known what was up. For about an hour back in January, Broadwell's Wikipedia page contained the sentence, "Petraeus is reportedly one of her many conquests." An editor deleted it as "libel/vandalism," the Huffington Post reports.