November 13th, 2012
02:52 PM ET
8 years ago

Feinstein says she'll push for Petraeus to testify

(CNN) – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman, said she hopes to talk to Gen. David Petraeus and will urge him to testify on the Benghazi, Libya attacks as previously scheduled.

"I believe he will. I think he's a responsible person and I believe he will come. We are going to try to set that up today," she said in an interview to air Tuesday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

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Feinstein said the former CIA director's testimony is relevant because news of his extramarital affair broke after his recent trip to Libya, where he discussed the violence and other issues with the CIA station chief there.

In a separate interview with CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash, Feinstein said Tuesday the committee could call Petraeus to appear on Capitol Hill as early as Friday morning, adding that his lack of testimony would be a very big stone left unturned.

Feinstein told CNN that she and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman of the committee, are meeting with Michael Morell, the acting director of the CIA who took over after Petraeus resigned Friday, and other intelligence officials as part of an "inquiry" into September's U.S. consulate attack in Libya that killed four Americans.

"(Petraeus) was actually in Benghazi, and actually spoke to people involved in the incident. I think that's important for us to hear," she said on "The Situation Room."

She later added: "There's only one way to ascertain (his trip), and that is to talk directly with Petraeus and do it in a classified setting with the committee present."

The California senator has been vocal in her disappointment of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its handling of the Petraeus scandal, as well as a second investigation involving Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and "potentially inappropriate" e-mails he exchanged with Jill Kelley, a friend of Petraeus.

Feinstein questioned why the FBI did not notify oversight committees in Congress about the investigations beforehand, given that classified information could be at risk.

"It's rather shocking to find out candidly that we weren't briefed and that we find out from the press in the way in which we did, with no heads up, with no opportunity to ask questions, or put together any information," she said. "So we have been coming from behind on this."

She continued: "I have many questions about the nature of the FBI investigation, how it was instituted, and we'll be asking those questions."

- Watch Feinstein's interview on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," starting at 4 p.m. ET.

Related: Sen. Collins: 'Imperative' Petraeus testify on Benghazi

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

Filed under: David Petraeus • Dianne Feinstein • FBI • Libya • Senate • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Petraeus most important mission at this time is his family and his own personal mental and physical health, I guess they now want his blood when his already given his blood, sweat and tears to this country.

    November 13, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Gen. David Petraeus will testify , one way or another . Let the bump on his head swell down a little so he can put his hat on . I think his wife let him have it with a frying pan , right now he's still seeing stars rotate around his brain.

    As a former photo journalist I can't tell you how many times a hot looking bimbo would exploit her sexuality for a story . Men on the other hand tend to think with there middle leg . Unfortunately it is the way it is.

    November 13, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |

    OMG! The comments from obvious GOtP trolls screaming about Benghazi we know your true intentions
    Well...I know your true intentions. I can't speak for everybody
    The GOtP trolls HOPE they can find something, ANYTHING they can use against President Obama.
    Anything that will tarnish his reputation AND (their greatest hope) get him impeached (like they did Clinton)
    GOtP trolls don't actually care about the people who died in the attack.
    They don't actually care about America.
    They just hate Obama and this is something they can use against him
    They (like Mitt Romney) are using the Benghazi attack to get political points.
    All the comments trying to imply a cover up, or implying that the President acted improperly, stating that Obama is corrupt or calling for the POTUS to be impeached or removed from office...ALL OF THESE COMMENTS are republicans grasping at straws. These comments are signs of desperation. They are desperately trying to destroy the President AND they are running out of time

    November 13, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. Karina

    Diane Feinstein is once again to be commended for her true sense of duty to the country.

    November 13, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Beal

    He will end up testifying. Doesn't sound like we will get to hear any of it. I am sure Obama and most of the country could care less who he knocks around with but it would be interesting to get the real story. Of course Obama knew nothing about Benghazi or Petraeus because he is incomptent and was campaigning for 18 months instead of doing his job.

    November 13, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. Namebarbara

    Why is Feinstein so shocked about not knowing? Isn't this the same CIA that contrived reports about weapons of mass destruction and missed warnings about 911?

    November 13, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  7. Me 3

    I thought congress could supoena anyone they want. I do not understand why his resignation has any effect on that.

    November 13, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. Lainie11

    Not only should petraeus testify, but also Hilary Clinton, Leon Panetta, and Eric Holder, all of whom are skipping town soon.

    November 13, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. norma jean

    What a sad way for a reknowned general to go a other direction may I just say....that ANYONE who calls the president of the United States "o'dumbo".........{tess} needs to take a good look at themselves in the mirror!!!!! "There are none so blind as those who won't see"'!!!!

    November 13, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    Don't push it Feinstein. I had my doubts this year about voting for you but as I said, "don't push it". Should you fall into any scandal, the republicans would tear you apart, and it would be democrats who would have to put you back together again. You are treading on thin ice Diane and should tone down your demands and comments accordingly.

    Signed a California voter.

    November 13, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  11. Ancient Texan

    tess- 100% correct. – They covered up and stonewalled on Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the drone being shot at by Iran, and the Petraeus scandel. All to get it out of sight until after the election. "Most transparent administration" ....... uh not hardly. Most corrupt-definitely!

    November 13, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. TPF

    It's no more of a security breach than when Bill Clinton was being B L O W N while talking to world leaders on the phone in the oval office. This is such a which hunt to cover-up the, cover-up of the Libya situation. The White House needs some cleaning out and it starts at the top. The United States is the laughing stock of the world. It's like a very bad soap opera with worst leading actors and actresses.

    November 13, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  13. BeverlyNC

    Could we stop all these media nonsense on who had an affair with who and how can the Republicans create a conspiracy theory where it was Obama's fault that led to our consulate being attacked?? It's ridiculous. How about raising taxes on the rich, refunding education Republicans destroyed, changing the filibuster rules so Mitch McConnell has to stand before the nation and pout and stomp his feelt until he passes out and then we get the legislation the nation needs passed?? President Obama won in a landslide. No one cares what Republicans in Congress want or thiink. They either work on the nation's recovery right now or we WILL VOTE THEM ALL OUT in the 2014 midterms. It's finally time to do the PEOPLE's work!

    November 14, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  14. scorpioman

    Right. Feinstein is a longtime old liberal demorat. Does anyone take her seriously when she urges/wants to have the former DCI testify, especially when his testimony (if truthful) could bring a Crap Storm
    down on the WH.

    I for one will be very surprised if he, Patraeus, does agree to testify on his own volition.

    But I suppose anything is possible in DC these days.

    But Alas, seeing is believing. : )

    November 14, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  15. Frank

    This is so important. I really glad they are tackeling the really difficult issue here, instead od Immegration, Debt, War, Unemployment, you know the trivial distractions like these.

    November 14, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  16. lizzytalorburton

    Feinstein is full of it too! I don't believe her either. All of the democrats are lieing about Liblya and look how all of them are not going to be there on Thursday - how come phony Feinstein didn't supboena all of them for Thursday? Who's she kidding. Obama, Clinton, Petraeous, Pannetta are such scared rats they're all running away to Australia this week, They should be ashamed of themselves and should be in Jail for treason for not protecting the Ambassador and the three others. How does Feinstein and Clinton and Obama and Petraeus and Pannetta and Rice sleep at night? This is about murder and death!!! God works in mysterious ways, I pray he saves the United States of America, we are headed to ruin with an Obama President for another 4 years. Hide and save your money people, he will take it and give it to the bums that don't want to work.

    November 14, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  17. Thinking Texan

    Republicans in the House consider this:
    Ask him nicely.
    If he refuses, you got this thing called a subpoena.
    Otherwise stop your complaining.

    BTW, when conducting inquiries get all the facts, before making the conclusions.

    November 14, 2012 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  18. Bob Ramos

    She later added: "There's only one way to ascertain (his trip), and that is to talk directly with Petraeus and do it in a classified setting with the committee present."
    If Petraeus is the only one that can give this set of facts, then he should testify in a closed meeting. If someone else in the CIA can, then his privacy has to be respected. Every senator present at that hearing should be briefed as to the consequences of talking about what was said in the meeting.

    November 14, 2012 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  19. MarieMD

    @tess, if toothma cantor from VA had learned anything detrimental for the White House when he was told about this affair in October he would have used it.
    As far as continuing to demean the President. If that makes you feel like a better woman (LOL) go ahead.
    You want to talk lemmings, look in the mirror. Yor pathetic party can't switch gears in the middle when we all know that they hate anyone but people like you.

    November 14, 2012 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  20. jnpa

    @tess – I am sure the repubs would try to protect their president as well and sweep anything under the rug as you say. But to call the President of the United States "o'dumbbo" just proves your total lack of credibility from this point on!

    November 14, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  21. Nick

    I couldn't care less about the scandal. All I want to hear about is what he knew and when he knew it about Benghazi and reported interrogation activities that were supposedly banned by Executive Order. The rest is a distraction.

    November 14, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  22. GuyinVA

    The election is over, and now we can begin to look at Benghazi. After the leftists like Senator Feinstein lamented how all this spontaneous violence could be caused by a poorly made film that no one saw, we can now dig up the facts... as long as they don't harm the administration. Congress can now stand at the pulpit and speak of seeking the truth, now that they've succeeded in hiding it for 2 months. The media can now begin to investigate this act of terrorism. The election is over, and no one needs to be protected anymore. There are Pulitzer, Polk, and Peabody awards to be won.

    November 14, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    Petraeus absolutely should be called to testify on the Benghazi incident. The people want answers for all those administration lies, about the youtube movie.

    November 14, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  24. robertholt

    How often it is that a man is brought down by his inability to conduct himself properly with a woman. He can handle many different situations well, but not his own passions.

    November 14, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  25. The Real Tom Paine


    Obama has been in office for four years now. The horrific acts in Benghazi and the scandal with Patreaus happened on his watch – not on Bush's or Nixon's. He also spent more than any other president ever, and astronomically increased the deficit. Is it not in a democrat's DNA to be accountable?
    Ironic comments, especially when coming from a shill for a party that blithely ignored our debt until they were out of power, neglected oversight until our economy melted away, and never have we heard one conservative say that maybe their policies and ideas were responsible for some of our problems. When the only thing that the conservatives are doing is talking about Benghazi and the obvious delight they are taking in a tragedy, it makes people question their priorities( or lack thereof). Its little wonder they went down in flames last week, and, had it not been for the gerrymandering they did, the House would be in the hands of people who actually want to solve our nations problems, rather that making them worse through inaction or incompetance. The conservative bubble is being re-inflated with more hotair, because they can't bear to face the fact that their ideas have failed, and they need to find another way of distracting the country from their utter lack of ideas and integrity.

    November 14, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
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