Politics

State Department Fever: Petraeus to Trump Tower

Former CIA director reportedly under consideration for top diplomatic post as Romney pushback grows

Retired Gen. David Petraeus is slated to speak with Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City Monday afternoon as speculation grows over who will earn the president-elect’s nod for secretary of state.

Petraeus, the former CIA director under President Obama, would be vying for the position against Trump’s top two apparent choices: former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. As Petraeus and Trump discuss the position and the country eagerly anticipates the results, the president-elect’s inner circle reportedly is experiencing some upheaval concerning the other two top candidates.

“The only response can be: ‘Yes, Mr. President.'”

“If you’re asked, you’ve got to serve — put aside any reservations based on campaign rhetoric … and figure out what’s best for the country,” Petraeus told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program last week when asked if he would serve in the Trump administration, if asked.

In addition to serving as CIA director under Obama, the retired four-star general also served as commanding general of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

“I’ve been in a position before where a president has turned to me in the Oval Office in a difficult moment, without any pleasantries, and said ‘I’m asking you as your president and commander-in-chief to take command of the international security force in Afghanistan,'” Petraeus told the BBC. “The only response can be: ‘Yes, Mr. President.'”

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Petraeus does not come without baggage. The former CIA director resigned from his post in 2012 after serving for a little over a year following the revelation that he had carried on an affair with the principal author of his biography, Paula Broadwell. Following his resignation, Petraeus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information that he relayed to Broadwell.

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Petraeus’ consideration for secretary of state comes as the Trump camp is reportedly feuding over Romney’s suitability for the top diplomatic post.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, both ardent Trump supporters, made waves last week when they spoke out against Romney. Former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway also expressed her disapproval during several appearances on Sunday shows and suggested that loyal Trump supporters would feel “betrayed” if Romney were selected.

“It’s just breathtaking in scope and intensity the type of messages I’ve received from all over the country … the number of people who feel betrayed to think that Gov. Romney would get the most prominent Cabinet post after he went so far out of his way to hurt Donald Trump,” Conway said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I’m all for party unity, but I’m not sure we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position.”

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