Petraeus GS '87, Princeton president hopeful, resigns as CIA director following extramarital affair
CIA Director David Petraeus GS ’87, the prominent former military figure who has expressed interest in one day serving as University president, resigned Friday after disclosing he had carried out an extramarital affair.
Other media outlets reported Friday evening that the woman involved in the affair was Petraeus biographer Paula Broadwell, who wrote “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,” this year. According to those outlets, the FBI received a tip that he was involved with Broadwell and is investigating the relationship to determine whether an intelligence violation occurred. Broadwell may have attempted to access Petraeus’ email and view classified intelligence information, the outlets say.
Calls to Broadwell’s cell phone went unreturned Friday evening.
For a story in The Daily Princetonian in September, Broadwell’s response to interview inquiries hinted at an undefined and unclear relationship between her and Petraeus, who presumably was solely her biography subject.
After asking for and receiving advanced questions for an interview with her, Broadwell first acted a spokesman for Petraeus.
“Gen. Petraeus is going to send some thoughts which I’ll pass along to you this afternoon,” she said in an email.
Even once the ‘Prince’ clarified that it sought independent comment from Broadwell herself as an author – rather than asking her to speak for Petraeus as a spokesman, because the ‘Prince’ had already contacted the CIA press office – Broadwell emailed responses that suggested that she had been in touch with him.
“He is not interested in the Princeton job that I know (though I know he knows it is open)” she said in response to one question.
“When he responds to your below email,” Broadwell said, referring to the email sent to the CIA press office, “I’ll share what I can.”
After the ‘Prince’ stressed for a third time that it wished to speak with Broadwell in her capacity as an neutral author rather than as an intermediary between Petraeus and the newspaper, Broadwell phoned the ‘Prince’ and provided an interview. In that conversation, Broadwell said she had recently been in contact with Petraeus about University President Shirley Tilghman’s retirement announcement.
At the same time, individuals close to Petraeus told The Daily Princetonian that while he was interested in the position, the timing of the University's presidential opening may not square with Petraeus’ career path. Before today’s resignation, Petraeus had only led the CIA for over a year and was said to enjoy the job thoroughly.
In a statement to the ‘Prince’ responding to his purported interest in the Princeton presidency, Petraeus said he was “living the dream” at the CIA.
In a statement today, Petraeus explained that he met with President Barack Obama on Thursday – just two days after Obama was elected to a second term – and offered his resignation.
“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,” he said in the letter.