CIA Director David Petraeus resigned Friday afternoon, citing his “extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.”
Petraeus, a four-star general who led American forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, has served his post in the CIA since he retired from the military and was sworn in September 2011. He was a widely respected figure in the military and the intelligence community.
“Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours,” he wrote in his resignation letter.
Petraeus first alerted President Obama of his affair on Thursday, and offered his resignation to which the president later accepted.
“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,” Obama said in a statement
Petraeus’ resignation comes just three days after results of the presidential campaign first started rolling in. He is likely to be succeeded by Deputy CIA Director, Michael Morell.
Petraeus was slated to speak before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week over the handling of the consulate attacks in Benghazi, Libya. His resignation is not said to be linked to the controversy over the September attacks, NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell reports.
“This is by any account a shocking announcement,” she said.
The general’s wife, Holly Petraeus, worked in the Consumer Advocacy Agency for the Obama administration and had been one of the deputies under Elizabeth Warren.
Read Petraeus’ resignation in full:
Central Intelligence Agency
9 November 2012
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