Government officials may have used former CIA director David Petraeus’ affair with Paula Broadwell as a bargaining chip to influence what he told Congress about the September 11th attack of the U.S. Embassy in Libya, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer says.
“Here’s a man who knows the administration holds his fate in his hands,’’ Krauthammer told Fox News’ “Special Report’’ on Tuesday night.
“And he gives testimony completely at variance with what the secretary of defense had said the day before, at variance with what he heard from the station chief in Tripoli, and with everything that we had heard.
“Was he influenced by the fact he knew his fate was held by people in the administration at that time?”
Krauthammer said he found it “shocking’’ Petraeus “thought and hoped he could keep his job.
“He thought that it might and would be kept secret, and then he could stay in his position. I think what that tells us is really important.
“It meant that he understood that the FBI obviously knew what was going on. He was hoping that those administration officials would not disclose what had happen and therefore hoping that he would keep his job.
“And that meant that he understood that his job, his reputation, his legacy, his whole celebrated life was in the hands of the administration. And he expected they would protect him by keeping it quiet.”
Petraeus reportedly told congressional intelligence leaders days after the attack that he believed it was spontaneous.
“That brings us to the ultimate issue, and that is his testimony on Sept. 13,” Krauthammer said.
“That’s the thing that connects the two scandals. And that’s the only thing that makes the sex scandal relevant. Otherwise it would be exercise in sensationalism and voyeurism, and nothing else.’’