CIA Director David Petraeus testifies at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Jan. 31. (H. Darr Beiser / USA Today)
David Petraeus resigned Friday as CIA director, saying he could no longer serve because of an extramarital affair.
“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,” Petraeus said in a statement to the agency’s workforce Friday afternoon. “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.”
Petraeus, a retired four-star Army general, had led the CIA since September 2011. Deputy Director Michael Morrell, a career agency employee, will serve as acting director.
In a separate statement, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Petraeus’ decision “represents the loss of one of our nation’s most respected public servants.”
“Under his leadership, the CIA remained instrumental in providing our policy makers decision advantage through the best possible intelligence,” Clapper said. I'm particularly thankful for Dave's unwavering support and personal commitment to my efforts to lead the intelligence community and integrate our intelligence enterprise.”
In his resignation statement, Petraeus told CIA employees 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.”