Once more unto the breach, dear friends.
A new challenger has entered the fray of contender for Secretary of State: retired general and former CIA Director David Petraeus.
That’s according to multiple reports saying that President-elect Donald Trump is considering Petraeus for the role of the nation’s top diplomat, entering a field of contenders said to include former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Petraeus is undoubtedly qualified for the position. He received universal praise for his handling of the 2007 surge of troops in Iraq, as well for overseeing all military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Senate also voted unanimously (94-0) to confirm his appointment as head of the CIA, a recognition of his accomplishments.
Petraeus does, however, arrive with some baggage. He was forced to resign from his post as CIA director when it was found that he had shared classified information with his official biographer Paula Broadwell, with whom he also had an extramarital affair. The idea of mishandling classified information was a central theme in President-elect Trump’s criticisms of his election opponent, Hillary Clinton, when it was found that she had classified information on a private email server.
It should be noted, though, that Petraeus did face a criminal trial, but avoided this in a plea deal in 2015 that sentenced him to two years of probation and a $100,000 fine. Trump also did acknowledge the contrast between Petraeus and Clinton on the campaign trail, saying at one rally that “other lives, including General Petraeus and many others, have been destroyed for doing far, far less.”
The news of Petraeus being considered for Secretary of State comes as infighting on Trump’s transition team about who should fill the role has spilled into public view. Former campaign manager and current senior advisor Kellyanne Conway has been very vocal about her opposition to Mitt Romney getting the job, saying that many Trump supporters might feel “betrayed” by selection someone who was a vocal critic of Trump during the election cycle. Romney is said to be lobbying for the job behind-the-scenes.
President-elect Trump is scheduled to meet with Petraeus later today, as well as to meet Romney again sometime tomorrow.
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