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Why Is David Petraeus Even Being Considered For Secretary Of State?

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Why Is David Petraeus Even Being Considered For Secretary Of State?

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David Petraeus

By Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Donald Trump on Monday stepped up his search for a new U.S. secretary of state, with the focus on former CIA head David Petraeus, who is a candidate despite admitting he shared classified information with his mistress.

The Republican was to meet Petraeus, a retired general, at Trump Tower in Manhattan in a new round of interviews.

Once the top U.S. military commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, Petraeus was sentenced to two years’ probation and fined $100,000 last year for the unauthorized removal and retention of classified information.

He admitted sharing classified information with his biographer, with whom he was having an affair. The scandal forced Petraeus to resign from the CIA in 2012.

Petraeus has also been mentioned as a possible new secretary of defense. Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, is also holding talks with Mitt Romney on Tuesday in his second recent meeting with the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are also in the mix for the job of America’s top diplomat, Trump aides say.

Trump spokesman Jason Miller, asked if the president-elect was nearing the end of his search for a secretary of state, said Trump is using the interview process as he works toward a final decision on the position.

“He’ll complete that when he’s ready,” Miller said. “He’s going to pick the person that he thinks will do the absolutely best job.”

Petraeus’ past mishandling of classified documents is unlikely to be an obstacle to him being offered a top government post, even though Trump harshly criticized Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the election campaign for using a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Trump often compared the prosecution of Petraeus with the lack of legal action against Clinton, who was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation but never charged with any offense.

“Just based on his public statements, I think (Trump) sees Petraeus as a good man who made a mistake, who did a fraction of what other people have done and received a lot more punishment,” said a source who has advised the transition team on national security.

Among the Trump transition team, Petraeus and Romney are supported by Republicans looking for a candidate with gravitas who can unify the party, the source said.

Giuliani is favored by aides who worked on the election campaign while ideological conservatives are more inclined toward John Bolton, the former ambassador to the United Nations, the source said. Corker is well regarded but some in the Trump camp do not want too many senators coming into the Cabinet, the source said.

Trump arrived back in New York on Sunday after several days in Florida for Thanksgiving. He caused a stir on Sunday when he alleged on Twitter that “serious voter fraud” had occurred in the presidential election in New Hampshire, Virginia, and California – states won by Clinton – but provided no evidence to back his assertion.

All three states on Monday rejected his claim. New Hampshire’s deputy secretary of state, David Scanlan, said: “There’s no evidence that we’ve seen that supports claims like that. Voter fraud does occur, but it occurs in isolated instances,” he said.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Trump’s “unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in California and elsewhere are absurd.”

Virginia Commissioner of Elections Edgardo Cortes said: “The claims of voter fraud in Virginia during the November 8 election are unfounded.”

The margin of victory in Virginia was larger than what is necessary for a recount to take place, the state’s department of elections said.

(Additional reporting by Melissa Fares in New York and Julia Harte in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

IMAGE: Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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19 Comments

  1. I Am Helpy November 28, 2016

    Because Republicans never actually cared about any of the things they yelled about, they just wanted to be racist.

    Reply
    1. dbtheonly November 29, 2016

      Not sure I buy that one, Helpy,

      I see it more that the Republican care about different things.

      Some want the religious freedom to discriminate against people.
      Some are worried about globalization.
      Some want the freedom to pollute.
      Some want to lower their taxes.
      Some care about deficits and debt.
      Some want an aggressive foreign policy.

      And the Sturmbahnfurher Otto wants to establish the 4th Reich.

      Racism is only a stream in a much larger river.

  2. Otto T. Goat November 28, 2016

    He’s doing a Nazi salute in that picture. Which is nice.

    Reply
    1. Dan S November 29, 2016

      Goodbye Otto. Your constant references to Nazis ovens & the Holocaust is too much to bear. You are now being blocked from me having to listen to someone who has absolutely nothing constructive or positive to say. Your buddy AgLander is next

      1. Mama Bear November 29, 2016

        good for you. I blocked these Russian trolls a long time ago and it felt really good:)

  3. carole.carey November 29, 2016

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    Reply
  4. FireBaron November 29, 2016

    So, another flawed character added to the clown-show lineup for the Teflon Donnie Comedy Hour. Here is the big difference between Patreaus and Clinton. Patreaus not only shared classified documents with his mistress/biographer, he admitted it. Any information on Hillary’s emails that turned out to be classified were not so at the time she sent anything. This was the exact same type of system used by her two predecessors in office, Gen. Powell and Dr. Rice, and no one called them to task for doing so. This is the exact same thing as done by VP Cheney! Here is the difference. Cheney destroyed his server so no one could ever examine it.

    Reply
    1. dpaano November 29, 2016

      Maybe he was the smart one…..at least he destroyed the evidence.

  5. Joan November 29, 2016

    Please don’t tell me that an admitted traitor can obtain Senate Confirmation to one of the highest jobs. The General released classified information to curry favor with a bed partner. He also allowed her access to his classified CIA sign on. Where are the mobs chanting “lock him up”, pictures of the General in a bull’s eye or “the General for jail”?

    Reply
  6. itsfun November 29, 2016

    He should not be considered for any federal office for the same reason Hillary should not have been allowed to run for President. Both allowed classified documents to be read by people with no security clearance. Remember Hillary allowed her lawyers to read her emails to decide if they were classified. That is a violation right there as her lawyers had no security clearance.

    Reply
    1. Zengo November 29, 2016

      I guess it’s all about Hillary then? Why is your man Trump even giving this guy the time of day?

      1. itsfun November 29, 2016

        I have no idea why. He compromised national security and got what he deserved. I don’t know how anyone could ever trust him with national security again.

  7. FT66 November 29, 2016

    There is something wrong in our way of thinking. Hillary didn’t intend to use her server in order to hurt the country. Thats why she was set free without any charge. More or less the same to this General. He made a human weakness error. He didn’t intend also to hurt the nation. What he did was not able to control his weakness. He did other stuff that are very much appreciated by the nation. He has learned through the mistake he made as all of us do. If there is a chance for him to extend his hand of help to the nation, then, why not? Myself I prefer to have the General (million times) as Secretary of State than having Mafia Rudy Giuliani.

    Reply
    1. Zengo November 29, 2016

      Maybe you have a point, but Sec. of State?

  8. yabbed November 29, 2016

    A military man who deliberately and repeatedly gave highly classified information to a mistress so she could write a book for profit should never be in a position of having security clearance again. The man is a traitor to his country.

    Reply
  9. Thomas Martin November 29, 2016

    He is being considered because he is a proven and very special criminal.

    Reply
    1. dpaano November 29, 2016

      Not sure he’s going to be able to get a security clearance with the charges that were brought against him. Why would we let a person that committed treason become a Secretary of State? It would be ridiculous…..but then again….

  10. Jon November 29, 2016

    It only goes to show the issue was never about classified information. It was about Bugs Bunny look alike Jason Chaffetz, Trey Gowdy, James Comey, and Don Trump wanting to smear Hillary no matter how long it took or how much it cost the taxpayers. Despite their lies, distortions, half-truths and innuendo, Hillary still beat the world’s greatest Loser by 2.5 million popular votes.

    Reply

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