November 13th, 2012
09:08 AM ET
9 years ago

Lawmakers react to generals scandal with questions

(CNN) – Lawmakers expressed shock – and a desire for more information – after Gen. John Allen, the top American military commander in Afghanistan, was ensnared in a growing scandal that brought down CIA director David Petraeus at the end of last week.

"Disturbing is the word that has come to my mind since all of this has come to light," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

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"Really, I think it goes without saying if you're the director of the CIA, if you are a four-star general in the United States Army, that you have to hold yourself to a higher standard. And you can't put yourself in a compromising position," the Florida Democrat said.

Wasserman Schultz made the remarks after authorities announced that Allen is under investigation for allegedly sending inappropriate messages to Jill Kelley, a woman who has been linked to the Petraeus scandal.

Allen, who is the commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, has denied any wrongdoing, a senior defense official said.

Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, said the thickening scandal has prompted a lot of "whys" - including why Congressional leaders with oversight over intelligence and homeland security weren't informed of potentially compromised information. The National Security Act of 1947 stipulates the "congressional intelligence committees are kept fully and currently informed on the intelligence activities of the United States."

"Congress' role is oversight. There will be oversight hearings, but the real question is about this administration. Why the opaqueness? Why the transparency? What did they know, when did they know it?" Price asked, also on "Starting Point."

"There are real questions that need to be answered," he continued. "This administration and these individuals need to answer questions about whether there was any compromise in American intelligence or security."

Wasserman Schultz agreed that "an investigation has to be done," and that Congressional leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees could have been told sooner about investigations into Petraeus' extramarital affair. But she cautioned against injecting politics into a situation with national security ramifications.

"Let's not have this spiral downward into something that just becomes more politics. We just came off an election," she said.

Filed under: Debbie Wasserman Schultz • Tom Price
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Gary in Dallas

    The eal issue here is the fact that the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government (FBI->AG->President) is required by law, but did not, notify the Legislative Branch that the Director of the CIA was being investigated because it was suspected that his personal communications stream may have been compromised and classified information might be leaking to unauthorized individuals.

    Everything else is trivial by comparison to that breach of the law, and it flies in the face of reason that the President was not notified months ago by the AG that the Director of the CIA was being thus investigated. The President is in trouble.

    November 13, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. swb

    Just as they did a week ago, the neo-libs start blaming everyone but the guy in charge, the big zero. Does anyone really believe the President and his incompetent cronies didn't know about this before the election? We alreay know he's a liar, this just confirms what 60 miliion people said last week...he shouldn't be President.

    November 13, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. Independent4sure

    It's truly amazing how some here honestly believe that this information concerning an Obama appointee was kept from him, especially knowing that Holder has known about this for months.. It would seem highly likely and most appropriate for him to be advised as soon as this information was uncovered. To believe anything less and attempt to somehow redirect blame to Cantor, as some seem to suggest, is ignorant at best. It's hard to imagine that these people are actually allowed to vote.

    November 13, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. clarke

    How does Jill Kelley fit into all this? She got these e mails out of blue because ? Why did some FBI employee leak this to Cantor. It sure makes one wonder about this hornets nest! Why isn't the FBI employee being brought up on the carpet. What about Cantor, what did he do with this information, Someone has all the answers, but no one is talking, how come? This is like a made for TV soap box. Why would they all ruin their lives, families and careers over this?? Maybe King is right, it sure doesn't add up. These men worked hard all there lives to get where they are and to just throw it away, just like that? Like I said it makes you wonder.

    November 13, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Imminent

    Come on CNN, pathetic. Stop spinning something that isn't there. You're starting to to smell a lot like FOX who fails at everything.

    Petraeus had an affair. Period. Military law punishes officers for affairs. Period. That's it. That's all there is to the Petraeus story. If you want to look more like a factual news entity, ask Obama, the secretary of defense, and secretary of state why they ignored recommendations AND requests to go in to Benghazi before the staff were murdered. That is the story you should be digging up.

    November 13, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Facts don't Lie

    ahh...let the conspiracy theories keep going and growing. After the beating they got last week this is about all the far right has left to get them excited. Once the theories are proven to be not true then they'll try to find something else to latch on to.

    November 13, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. RR

    Cantor knew about this. If I was the GOP, I would be mad as hell. How could one of their own know and not tell them?

    November 13, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. joe

    instead of working on the fisical cliff congress and the repo idiots waste time making this into a political talking point. investagation is underway and all will be revealed. this is just trying to gotcha the president. Tired of the repos seizing on anything they can to discredit the white house . Again it will not work so how about trying to get some real business done? I guess you still think you have commies under your bed. Grow up and move Forward.

    November 13, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. cdgfla

    How in anyway does the fact that the head of the CIA had an affair mean more than 2 cents to anything? Did it affect his job performance? No considering that Al Qaida has been effectively gutted in the last 4 years. Did it weaken our national security? Not that anyone outside of the inner circle can see, we haven't been attacked on US soil since GWB was in command.

    November 13, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Sandy

    GET BACK TO THE PEOPLE'S BUSINESS! I'm sick and tired of the media and politicians distracting us from what's important! Get back to dealing with jobs. NO MORE PATRAEUS SCANDAL!

    November 13, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. GI Joe

    NO MORE DSTRACTONS. The republcan House looks for any excuse NOT to work for the people. They work 3 days and take 2 weeks off.

    Get the work done for the PEOPLE. Nothing else is important - nothing.

    November 13, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. sifto

    to you disbelievers–this is not about a sex scandal–who cares about those men and their sexual escapades–we need to know how it is connected to the Govt cover-up of 4 murdered American Heroes–the media are trying to disconnect it–they are giving it their best shot–however, it has legs of its own–so pipe down and let the truth come out!

    November 13, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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