Transcript for Roundtable I: Petraeus Fallout
Representatives donna edwards of maryland and aaron schock of illinois, I think you're still the youngest member. At least for now. Katrina vanden heuvel and paul gigot. Let's talk about this big surprise that came out on friday, general petraeus having resigned. Greta we heard from pierre thomas earlier. That investigation seems to have played itself out. Where else does this go? Well, if he is called as a witness to testify on capitol hill, I'm an old-time criminal defense lawyer, when I heard this, I worry about whether or not, in any sort of investigation, if he said anything that would have jeopardized him at all criminally. That's the worst-case scenario. Defense lawyers always freak out. That's why I asked senator chambliss the question, during the course of a background investigation of cia director, you might get a question about -- remember what happened to martha stewart. She was investigated for insider trading. Never charged with that. But she was charged with lying to a federal officer. But we have no evidence -- right. You hear, paul gigot, so many people saying, there might have been concerns. But this was so stunning to so many people. Sure it was. I have gotten to know him socially over the years. He's a very cautious man. He's have shrew politically. He knew how to operate in washington and this is a stunning mistake in judgment. It's a loss for the country. He served his country, salvaged iraq the country. Was doing a good job at the cia. Now, robs the president of one of his seasoned veterans. A real problem that we're losing him. But it's a lapse judgment that's surprising. The private gmail account that apparently that paula broadwell had access to, I think raises real security questions. David petraeus, in his rules for living, someone is always watching. Dianne finestein said that, she wished he didn't resigned. But he had no choice. I think he didn't have any choice. Katrina, I know that you don't agree -- I think this is a personal matter. You know, it's a tragedy for the family. But I do think, it's kind of interesting to watch the coverage. Because there's such venn ration for david petraeus. You would think the worst thing that the cia has ever done is engage in an extramarital affair. I think general petraeus was the architect of a failed counterinsurgency program. I think it's time for our media to pay less attention to extramarital affairs and we need to pay more attention to scandals or concerns like that and also the escalation of the drone war. Which the general made a big part of his portfolio. You're talking about the failure, talking about afghanistan earlier -- talking about iraq as well. Because of the counterinsurgency. He was really bargaining with the sunnis and certainly the countinsurgency in afghanistan hasn't proven to be effective. We can argue, I think, is going to fuel a backlash. But he gave that statement. He went to capitol hill on september 14th and gave the video protest as the explanation for what happened in benghazi, when two days earlier, his station chief on the ground in libya, it was not a result of a protest. He'll have to answer to those. The other thing, one of twists here, congressman schock, an fbi whistleblower went to your number two in the house, congressman eric cantor, and said that there concerns there that this was being covered up. And not brought to the white house. Do you have them? Well, I think we'll find out more. Right now, it's all speculation. We don't know when the affair began. Some of the questions that he was asked during the vetting process he may have been untruthful. It's tragedy. He was well respected by the bush administration, rewarded by the obama administration. It will make for an exciting lame-duck season. Any concerns with how this was handled? No. I think that general petraeus, you know, this is a personal problem, I think he was required to resign, you can't have that kind of infidelity come forward and raise national security concerns. On the flip side, though, I do think that the cia will have the capacity and will be able to respond to questions on capitol hill regarding benghazi and i think those are actually two very separate things and we'll get the oversight on benghazi and libya over these next several weeks and then, general petraeus will have a chance to put his life together. It could create complications for president obama as he puts together his national security team. I want to put up a chart right now. We know that secretary of state clinton was planning on leaving. Secretary of defense. Secretary of treasury is going as well, perhaps the attorney general. And the chief of staff. Greta, this is one hole that the president didn't expect to have in january. But, this is also quite a serious matter, this guy was in charge of intelligence. This was -- if you look at benghazi, there was an act of terrorism on 9/11. Here's our most important person in our intelligence community. The problem is a personal problem with someone who's extremely important and we don't know to what extent jeopardized or made him vulnerable. It's not unreasonable to be very suspicious that we don't have all of the information. You know, listen, I think the relationship between president obama and general petraeus has been a rocky one. Don't forget, over at your network at fox, he was your candidate for a while. He was going to be the republican candidate. You keep your foes close. But I also think that there are many people who can fill this hole. I wished there was a different approach to foreign policy. A less militarized one. That emphasizes political solutions. Can I say one thing? For many journalists at our news organization, we have world renowned journalists. Let me say, there are a lot of people who vework very hard at our organization. When did the fbi really start to know about this and how up -- several months. -- Presumably the fbi director knew, did they tell the white house council office? And the judge who might have signed the warrant to get these records. To be told tuesday at 5:00 p.M. On election day, frankly, it doesn't pass the smell test. That's why I asked senator chambliss about that as well. He insist he wasn't told until friday. We have the evidence that some
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