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November 12th, 2012
07:55 AM ET

Was national security at risk as result of Petraeus affair? Richard Socarides and Oliver Mcgee weigh in

CIA Director David Patraeus resigned in a statement he released on Friday. The retired four-star general cited an extramarital affair with his one-time biographer Paula Broadwell. The shocking resignation has prompted concerns of a breach of national security among some leaders in Congress. They've also questioned the timing of the resignation. Richard Socarides, fmr. senior adviser to President Clinton and writer with the NewYorker.com, and Oliver McGee, Republican strategist and author of "Jumping the Aisle," join “Early Start” this morning to weigh in on the issue. They also discuss the topic of potential gridlock in Washington and the looming fiscal cliff.

The FBI started investigating the scandal early this summer, yet didn’t notify the White House until early this month. “It seems like there was some confusion around exactly what happened and what people were thinking early on,” Socarides says. “But it is fairly remarkable that in a situation like this, that the President and the White House would not be told until right before his resignation. And certainly I think the mistake that was made is that Congress ought to be informed at the same time that the senior people on the national security establishment are told.”

Congressman Peter King has stated that “it just doesn’t add up,” regarding the timing of events following the investigation and when Congress was notified.

“Essentially, what we’re looking at is a question of executive judgment,” “Falling on McGee says. “And executive judgment is about empathy, asking proper questions, and ultimately service. And when we look at the service of General Patreaus, he’s a war hero.” McGee says it is the responsibility of Congress to ask the appropriate questions of General Patreaus with consideration for his personal life and simultaneously ask, "is there really a national security risk associated?” McGee says, “So far, I’m not seeing what I’m seeing right now that there is not.”

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Stewart

    Interesting perspective from Dr. Oliver McGee (who worked in the White House in the 90s). Agree 100% this is about "executive judgement". Would be intriguing to see what an audit of the entire Senate, House, and Cabinet would turn up in terms of personal relationships on the side. It brings up a question - should every public official or high-level corporate executive have their personal life be scrutinized at this level?

    November 12, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply

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