The Director of America’s Central Intelligence Agency, David Petraeus, has resigned after admitting having an extramarital affair.
In a letter to the spy agency’s workforce he said “after being married for 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment…and that such behaviour is unacceptable.”
The woman with whom the former CIA boss had the affair is said to be his biographer Paula Broadwell.
The author wrote a book about him called “All In”.
Reports say the FBI uncovered evidence of the affair during a separate investigation into Broadwell. She was said to have tried improperly to access his email, possibly seeing classified information.
“One of the questions will be – was the affair something that compromised the intelligence community? Was the affair something that made it impossible for him to stay in that job?” asked Julie Pace, AP’s White House reporter.
“We hadn’t heard a lot about personality conflicts, but what we actually did hear a lot about with Petraeus is that he kept a low profile at the CIA. You didn’t actually hear much from him right after the Benghanzi attacks in particular, and there were some questions about whether that was actually the right approach, whether he needed to have more of a public persona.”
Officials insist the CIA’s handling of events in Benghazi, in which the US ambassador to Libya was killed, had nothing to do with the director’s decision to resign.
Petraeus had been due to testify before Congress intelligence committees.
He is credited with overseeing the troop surge in Iraq and also commanded US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
President Obama has described him as one of the most outstanding generals of his generation.
Intelligence sources said that Michael Morell, the agency’s long-time deputy director, would serve as acting CIA chief for the immediate future.