Petraeus ‘embarked on affair two months after taking over as CIA chief’

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Retired US general David Petraeus began an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell in 2011, two months after he became CIA director, a former senior aide has revealed.

The sudden resignation of Gen Petraeus last Friday after a stellar career stunned Washington, and members of Congress have asked whether national security was compromised and why they were not told sooner.

A former spokesman for Gen Petraeus, retired army colonel Steve Boylan, told US television that Petraeus had ended the affair four months ago.

Col Boylan, who said he spoke with Gen Petraeus over the weekend, said his former boss’s wife of 38 years, Holly, was “furious”, while the general was “devastated”.

The FBI discovered the affair after another woman reported harassing e-mails from Ms Broadwell, 40. A senior US military official identified the woman as Jill Kelley, 37, who serves as an unpaid social liaison at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

On Sunday, Ms Kelley and her husband, Scott, said: “We and our family have been friends with General Petraeus and his family for over five years. We respect his and his family’s privacy and want the same for us and our three children.”

It is not clear what led Ms Broadwell to send the e-mails to Ms Kelley.

Gen Petraeus’s affair will be the subject of meetings tomorrow involving congressional intelligence committee leaders, FBI deputy director Sean Joyce and CIA deputy director Morell.