CIA Director Petraeus admits affair, resigns - - Columbia, South Carolina

CIA Director Petraeus admits affair, resigns

David Petraeus David Petraeus
A still frame of Holly Petraeus taken from video of an interview with Dawndy Mercer Plank in March, 2009. A still frame of Holly Petraeus taken from video of an interview with Dawndy Mercer Plank in March, 2009.

WASHINGTON (RNN) - Gen. David Petraeus, director of the CIA, has resigned from his post due to an extramarital affair.

Petraeus submitted his resignation in a letter to President Barack Obama on Friday.

The letter noted that Petraeus had exercised "extremely poor judgment" in conducting the affair. Petraeus and his wife, Holly Knowlton Petraeus, have been married for almost four decades.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair," the letter obtained by NBC News stated. "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation."

In his letter, Petraeus stated it had been "the greatest of privileges" to serve with the agency. He called it "a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard."

"Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that," he wrote.

Obama will have to nominate a replacement for Petraeus, who has served as head of the CIA since September 2011. He was previously head of U.S. Central Command and Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan.

Petraeus has been credited with the success of the troop "surge" in Iraq and served as commander of the coalition forces in 2007 and 2008.

Mike Morrell, deputy CIA director, is the most likely candidate to be made acting director, according to NBC News.

Petraeus had reached the rank of four-star general in the U.S. Army before retiring and assuming the role of CIA director on Sept. 6 last year.

He graduated from West Point Academy and holds a doctorate in international relations from Princeton. He served in the military from 1974 until he retired in 2011.

Holly Petraeus was also active in affairs dealing with the military. She became the director of the Better Business Bureau Military Line in 2005, working in consumer education and advocacy for service members and also working with the Treasury Department.

She was appointed to direct the Office of Servicemember Affairs in the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau in 2011.

The two met in 1973 at the U.S. Military Academy where Holly's father, William Knowlton, served as superintendent.

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