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Trump Meets with Ex-CIA Chief Petraeus as Possible Secretary of State

  • VOA News

Former CIA director and retired Gen. David Petraeus talks with reporters after a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump, Nov. 28, 2016, in New York.

Former CIA director and retired Gen. David Petraeus talks with reporters after a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump, Nov. 28, 2016, in New York.

President-elect Donald Trump met with another possible candidate for secretary of state Monday, and one who is likely to raise some tough questions from the U.S. Senate -- former CIA chief and retired general David Petraeus.

Before leading the CIA, Petraeus was top U.S. commander in Iraq and led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

But he was forced to resign from the CIA in disgrace in 2012 after leaking classified information to his biographer, with whom he was having an affair.

Despite Petraeus' past, Trump tweeted that he was "very impressed" with the retired general.

Republican officials say Trump has also decided on another cabinet appointment - the secretary of health and human services. His choice is said to be Georgia Representative Tom Price, who has been a leading critic of President Barack Obama's health care law, commonly known as Obamacare.

Trump has pledged to repeal Obamacare, although he has indicated that there are certain parts of the program he believes should be retained.

"Collateral Damage," a book by Jill Kelley, says former CIA Director David Petraeus confided in emails that he had committed "something terrible and dishonorable" by having an affair.

"Collateral Damage," a book by Jill Kelley, says former CIA Director David Petraeus confided in emails that he had committed "something terrible and dishonorable" by having an affair.

In addition to Petraeus, Trump is reported to be considering several other politicians and diplomats for the secretary of state post. They include former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is said to be highly interested in the job, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker, and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

The possibility of Romney is causing some controversy in the Trump transition camp and among Trump supporters.

The former governor and 2012 Republican nominee criticized Trump during the campaign as a "fraud" and "con man," and refused to publicly endorse him.

Monday Petraeus told reporters he met with Trump in the president-elect's Manhattan office tower for about an hour.

"He basically walked us around the world, showed a great grasp of a variety of the challenges that are out there and some of the opportunities as well...we'll see where it goes from here."

Despite his long experience as a top U.S. military commander and intelligence chief, Petraeus likely would face tough questions about his integrity from the Senate, which must approve a president's choice of secretary of state.

Petraeus was fined $100,000 and given two years' probation after pleading guilty to charges of mishandling classified information.

Trump had complained that while the FBI failed to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of classified information, Petraeus was punished for a lot less.

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