Petraeus oversaw U.S. military operations in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama before resigning in disgrace in 2012. The retired general struck a plea deal requiring two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine for sharing classified documents with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, with whom he was having an affair.
Trump’s decision to consider Petraeus is striking given his sustained attacks on Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state. During the campaign, the President-elect repeatedly compared the behavior of the two officials, saying Petraeus’ life was “destroyed” for “doing far, far less” than Clinton. While Trump has since walked back his campaign promise to prosecute Clinton if elected, he often called her email use criminal and said it rendered her unfit to handle top secret national security information.
Trump is still considering several candidates to head the State Department. Former Mayor New York City Rudy Giuliani is publicly pushing for the position, though his extensive foreign business ties could make for serious conflicts of interest. The President-elect will also meet with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for a second time on Tuesday, his transition team told reporters on a conference call. Several of his senior aides have said Romney deserves no role in the administration after publicly rebuking Trump during the campaign.