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. Dean

    Obama needs to testify.

    November 14, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota


    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 is rather silly, isn't it? Last time these GOPers got so hot and bothered they tried to impeach Clinton. At least in that instance, it was CLINTON who had the affair ... not some beloved member of Clinton's Administration. They're now groping for a "who knew what when and why weren't we told sooner" low. Both these generals had a bit of fun with younger women. Nothing more, nothing less. And no more to do with Benghazi than it had anything to do with any of our many other embassy tragedies and loss of life ... including those embassy tragedies which occurred during Reagan's, Clinton's, and Bush's terms as President. I'll give Petraeus credit; he fessed up and when push came to shove, he did take the high road and resigned.

    November 14, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    The questions that also need to be asked is why the FBI agent who sent shirtless phots of himself to Mrs. Kelly, felt it was a good idea to go to a GOP member of Congress when it was his agency that was conducting the investigation. Why did that member go to Cantor, and why did Cantor sit on the information and do nothing? Don't see the righties asking those questions, do we?

    November 14, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  4. Larry in Houston

    @ Me IN Houston @ 6:24 pm – I whole heartedly agree with you. It's coming, believe me. Houston and 4 other major cities are now BLUE, according to the latest News, and exit polls. If we don't turn Texas Blue by 2016, It will most definitely be Blue in 2020 !! The mexicans ( that are registered voters ) are finding out that they don't have to be hassled with, from their republican employers ! They won't be scared to death to Vote their minds, unlike when they were told by republicans that IF they voted Democrat, they would threaten them in some way / shape / or form.

    November 14, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. seanster5977

    The whole Petraeus deal has been exploited to take the public's eye off of the original problem and that is the coverup by Obama for what happened in Benghazi. But the public has become really really stupid and easily misdirected. They voted this loser as president twice. He has been a complete failure but they are still buying the lies.

    November 14, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. freedom

    @ Tom Paine Real and productive ideas never fail. An election was lost, but the bright ideals from the Republicans still exist and will become stronger. And your view of inegrity and mine are polar opposites. The sleaze and small-mindedness that was part of the Obama campaign had anything but integrity. Which is also reflective on all those who voted him into office. The Benghazi incident is a tragedy and travesty, and again, all those, whether they be Democrat or Republican need to be held accountable. There is nothing political about that. Nixon resigned when he was impeached. Clinton wouldn't budge when he was impeached. What will Obama do?

    November 14, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  7. Terri

    "the real Tom" you are right Tom! No they aren't asking those questions – dollars to donuts Cantor did go to FBI but they refused to make this an election "surprise" and rightly so as this was personal affairs – these idiots on the right just cannot get over that the black guy WON AGAIN – woe is me you poor righties......Bengahzi results are going to be SOOO disappointing.

    November 14, 2012 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  8. ja

    he should testify, now as far as the libyan attack, there will be unfortunate acts in the world , we have footprints everywhere, get over it, when you take on such duties risks come with them,

    November 14, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  9. Terri

    Even if they told on the eve of the election that Patraeus had an affair – IT WOULD NOT HAVE CHANGED THE ELECTION RIGHTIES!

    November 14, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. BostonianNTheWoodlandsTX

    Somehow the general cheating and having an affair behind his wife's back is President Obamas fault right conservatives ?

    I mean is the president his babysitter ? Is the president now supposed to have oversight over what people under him are doing in their personal life ?

    Just like Clinton conservatives love to dig in your personal life.

    November 14, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. gee

    Regretfully, the ambassador should not have been outside a protected embassy on a 9/11 anniversary in a hostile land. Numerous embassy/consul deaths have occurred over the last ten years. Where was the indignation and witch hunts at the time?

    November 14, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. rose

    When news of Petraeus resignation broke out, I posted that it is a good development because now he is more than willing to testify on what really happened to the twin attacks in Benghazi, Libya owing to the fact that he will no longer be subservient to the whims and caprices of the administration. Latest news is that Petraeus finally agreed to testify.

    November 14, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. Pinebox

    The GOP congress members need to testify,why they're holding the american people hostage with gridlock. And the hate against the Obama administration..Petraeus business is his, and people should let it be.

    November 14, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    Fact Check I'll bet some Rank Congressmen knew about this back in September 2012, Remember the beautiful Russian spy samething

    November 14, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Latest news is that Petraeus finally agreed to testify."

    How nice of him. And lucky for all you impeachment conspirators, FOX News wasn't so ready to impeach Bush after 9/11. (Or maybe not so lucky. At least not for the hundreds of thousands who ended up fighting his (and Petraeus') two wars, and the many thousands of Americans who died in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade.)

    November 14, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. Pinebox

    These GOP congressmen nuts or really trying to get Obama out of office in some way, the Benghazi attack don't have anything on the WTC attack where 3,000 americans died. They should still have Bush and his administration testifying.

    November 14, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. yolanda

    @ The Real Tom Paine.... As blindly as you defend any and all things Democratic Party, perhaps you should look in the mirror to observe a shill.
    Accoountability is needed from both parties. 2 wrongs do not make a right. Your point of view might be taken seriously if you stop demonizing, and start offering constructive criticism.......

    November 14, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    @freedom: How did you feel about GW Bush when the following happened:

    2002-U.S. Embassy Karachi, Pakistan -10 killed, 51 injured
    2004 U. S. Embassy bombed in Uzbekistan – 2 killed -several injured.
    2004 U.S. Consulate Saudi Arabia – 8 killed
    2006 US. Embassy Syria – 1 killed several injured
    2007 U.S. Embassy -Athens- building bombed with an anti-tank grenade...fortunately no one was in the building at the time.
    2008-U.S. Embassy -Serbia – 1 dead -Embassy set on fire
    2008- U. S. Embassy- Yemen- bombed 10 killed

    November 14, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  19. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    Where's all the GOP outrage at Eric Cantor for not disclosing his knowledge of the Patraeus affair when he was told about it back in October?

    November 14, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  20. dsangiovanni

    It isn't enough the shame ?.....Can people stop finding Obama responsible of everything ?

    November 14, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Thomas

    freedom is right about aria 51 and Roswell , what is Obama hiding !

    November 14, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. The Real Tom Paine


    @ The Real Tom Paine.... As blindly as you defend any and all things Democratic Party, perhaps you should look in the mirror to observe a shill.
    Accoountability is needed from both parties. 2 wrongs do not make a right. Your point of view might be taken seriously if you stop demonizing, and start offering constructive criticism.......
    I could not agree more. As for my being a shill, obviously you have not seen other posts I have made. As for constructive criticism, it has been noticeably absent from the conservatives who regularly posted on here until the election, and they are obviously getting a second wind. The GOP is taking full advantage of a tragedy to gain some short-term political calital, and have already reached their conclusions regarding what happened in Benghazi. Oh, and by the way, I am very concerned about what goes on overseas, since my nephew left for Afganistan on his second deployment. Please observe a little more carefully next time, if you please, since you clearly reached a conclusion before knowing the available facts about your subject.

    November 14, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    Conservatives whining about integrity ought to remember that David Vitter stayed in the Senate and was re-elected after admitting that he visited the DC Madame and like to wear a diaper...he's still drawing a federal salary, and no one on the Right likes to talk about his lack of integrity to his wife, family and country. Just remember, folks, if you are a Repblican and say that the Lord has forgiven you, its ok, but if you are a Democrat-BRING ON THE HEARINGS!!!! jsut remember the next time you see Rep. Peter King, he was an open IRA supporter for decades ( he did pal around with terrorists).

    November 14, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. yolanda

    @The Real Tom Paine.....A thoughtful response. Much appreciated. Civil discourse has it's advantages. Most importantly, good luck yo your nephew and all of the other service people whose efforts allow us the privilege of living in a society such as ours. I hope that we do not waste their efforts (and lives). Having been a part of the debacle of Viet Nam, I do not want to see further needless suffering from our continued misadventures in Afganistan. That is said as an American veteran and citizen, not as a Republican or Democrat.

    November 14, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. freedom

    @ ThinkAgain where's your timeline from 2008-2012? In case you haven't noticed – we've been living under the Obama admin for the last four years – although that might be short-lived after Patraeus testifies. We have listened to all of you whining and demonizing Bush long enough. And if the Bush years were so bad, then why did Obama even keep Patraeus on – from Bush's admin.? Why did he keep Gitmo open? Why did he keep many of Bush's policies? If you have such criticism for Bush – then it applies to Obama as well. Deal with the facts and stop being brainwashed.

    November 14, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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