David Petraeus: Everything You Need to Know About the General That Impressed Trump

David Petraeus is widely viewed as a top contender for a Cabinet position.

ByABC News
November 29, 2016, 3:26 PM

— -- Amid reports of infighting in Donald Trump's camp over who should be secretary of state, he met with retired general and former CIA director David Petraeus about a possible Cabinet position.

Petraeus resigned as CIA director in 2012 after an FBI investigation revealed he had an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. He ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor federal charge after it was discovered that he provided her with notebooks containing classified information.

On the campaign trail, Trump often said that when it came to mishandling classified information, Petraeus was guilty of far less than Hillary Clinton, regarding her use of a private email server as secretary of state.

Here’s everything you need to know about Petraeus.

Full name: David Howell Petraeus

Age: 64 (born Nov. 7, 1952)

Birthplace: Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York

Education: Petraeus attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in the top 5 percent of his class. Most notably, he won a spot in the academy's premedical academic track; only 10 out of almost 1,000 students were accepted. He later went to the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, then received a master’s degree and a doctorate in international relations from Princeton University. Before returning to military service, Petraeus was a professor of international relations at West Point.

What he used to do:

Petraeus quickly rose through the ranks of the military, achieving the rank of brigadier general in 2000 and serving in Bosnia as part of the NATO Stabilization Force, as assistant chief of staff for operations and deputy commander of the U.S. Joint Interagency Counter-Terrorism Task Force. In 2003 he commanded the 101st Airborne Division in Baghdad and Mosul, becoming known for his hearts-and-minds approach to winning the respect of local communities. By 2007, he became the commanding general of the Multi-National Force–Iraq and was commended for reducing violence in the region.

Later, Petraeus served as the commanding officer of U.S. Central Command, which coordinates the military's operations across 20 countries in the Arabian Gulf region and central Asia. During this time, he and his wife, Holly Petraeus, announced that he was undergoing radiation therapy for early stage prostate cancer. By 2010, David Petraeus changed jobs again, briefly leading U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He became the CIA director a year later.

His relationship with Trump:

As a presidential candidate, Trump repeatedly criticized the FBI's treatment of Petraeus during its investigation into his handling of classified information. He often said that Petraeus was punished for his actions much more harshly than Clinton, who, at the FBI's recommendation, did not face charges for using a private server for government correspondence.

"I mean, Gen. Petraeus, they ruined his life. They ruined his life over, like, 2 percent of what [Clinton] did," Trump said at a rally in January.

After Trump's meeting with Petraeus this week, he tweeted that he was "very impressed" with the retired general.