Obama: No Evidence That Petraeus Scandal Hurt National Security
WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Barack Obama said he has no evidence that the scandal that ended
former Gen. David Petraeus‘ career had a negative impact on national security.
In his first comments on the scandal, Obama told a White House news conference that from what he’s seen, no classified information was disclosed that would harm national security.
Lawmakers met behind closed doors with top FBI officials Wednesday to determine if national security was threatened by the widening sex scandal and why legislators weren’t notified about the investigation sooner.
“We’re going to get to the facts,” Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said before the meeting. “We’re going to get to the bottom of all these issues.”
The panel was meeting on Capitol Hill with FBI Director Robert Mueller and deputy FBI Director Sean Joyce and later with acting CIA Director Michael Morell.
Morell started answering lawmakers’ questions Tuesday, meeting with top Senate intelligence officials to explain the CIA’s take on events that led to Petraeus’ resignation last week after he acknowledged having an affair his biographer, Paula Broadwell.
Lawmakers are especially concerned over reports that Broadwell had classified information on her laptop, though FBI investigators say they concluded there was no security breach.
U.S. officials say Broadwell sent harassing, anonymous emails to a woman she apparently saw as a rival for Petraeus’ affections. That woman, Jill Kelley, in turn traded sometimes flirtatious messages with Afghan war chief Gen. John Allen, possible evidence of another inappropriate relationship.
Investigators are focused on thousands of emails from Broadwell to Kelley, from Broadwell to Petraeus, from Broadwell to Allen and from Kelley to Allen.
Sources say Broadwell sent an email to Allen warning that Kelley was “a seductress.” Broadwell is also believed to have sent similar warnings to other military officers at the U.S Central Command located near Kelley’s home in Tampa.
As for the emails between Allen and Kelley, Pentagon officials describe them as “potentially inappropriate” and “flirtatious.” There are more than 20,000 documents and emails involving the two.
And although Allen’s nomination to be the next commander of U.S. European Command as well as the NATO supreme allied
commander in Europe has been put on hold, the president is said to have confidence in him.
Petraeus is scheduled to make an appearance on Capitol Hill on Friday to testify about the events leading up to the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador ands three other Americans.
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