(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said he was “withholding judgment” on whether the FBI should have informed him earlier than Nov. 8, two days after the election, that an FBI investigation had determined earlier this year that CIA Director David Petraeus had engaged in an extramarital affair.
The FBI reportedly informed Attorney General Eric Holder about Petraeus's affair in the late summer, more than two months before the White House says the president was informed.
In the intervening time, terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya and two former Navy Seals working as security personnel for the CIA there were killed.
At a White House press conference today, NBC reporter Chuck Todd asked the president: “Are you withholding judgment on whether you should have known sooner that there was an investigation into whether your CIA director, potentially there was a national security breach with your CIA director, do you believe you should have known sooner, are you withholding judgment until the investigation is complete on that front?”
Obama said: “I am withholding judgment with respect to how the entire process surrounding General Petraeus came up. We don’t have all the information yet. But I want to say I have a lot of confidence generally in the FBI, and they’ve got a difficult job, and so I’m going to wait and see to see if there’s any other--”
“Chuck, what I’ll say is that if, it’s also possible that if we’d been told [by the FBI], then you’d be sitting here asking a question about why we were interfering in a criminal investigation?” said Obama. “So, I think it’s best for us right now to just see how this whole process unfolded.”
Although the FBI apparently learned of the affair between Petraeus and his biographer, Paula Broadwell, in July 2012 and told the attorney general about it in late summer, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said yesterday that Obama had not been told about it until last Thursday, two days after the election.
The CIA director runs the nation’s top intelligence agency and regularly meets with the president and other top administration officials.
Petraeus submitted his resignation on Nov. 8 and Obama accepted it on Nov. 9.