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Obama says 'no evidence' Petraeus affair hurt security

November 14, 2012|By Ken Dilanian

WASHINGTON -- President Obama said Wednesday he has "no evidence" that national security was compromised by the scandal that forced CIA Director David Petraeus to resign and that now threatens the career of Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan.

In his first news conference since last spring, Obama said he accepted Petraeus' resignation Friday because "he did not meet the standards that he felt was necessary" to be CIA director after the FBI had uncovered evidence that the retired four-star general was involved in an extramarital affair.  

"We are safer because of the work that Dave Petraeus has done," the president said. He expressed hope that the former CIA chief and his family can move past the scandal.

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Asked if he should have been informed earlier that the FBI had determined that Petraeus was engaged in an extramarital affair, Obama said the FBI and Justice Department have protocols about disclosing ongoing investigations.

"We're not supposed to meddle in criminal investigations," Obama said.

But in response to another question, Obama said he was "withholding judgment" on how the FBI handled the case. "I have a lot of confidence, generally, in the FBI," he said.

"It's best for us now to just see how this whole process unfolded," he added.

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