Steve @ Riehl World View:
There are endless discussions and columns and posts on the unfortunate revelations regarding CIA director David Petraeus’ affair and resignation. Many of them speculate about the political convenience of it all – skirting Benghazi hearings and/or saving it until after the election, for instance.
Well, the White House does itself and the country no favors when it acts in such a manner as to either lend credence to suspicions of political hackery or suggest wholesale dysfunction on the part of both the White House staff and the newly-reelected president they continue to serve.
Pay close attention to this and you cannot come away from it with any good feelings.
“Director [of National Intelligence] Clapper learned of the situation from the FBI on Tuesday evening around 5 p.m.,” a senior U.S. intelligence official said. “In subsequent conversations with Director Petraeus, Director Clapper advised Director Petraeus to resign.”
The emerging details suggest that Petraeus was not involved in the decision to notify the White House that he had been ensnared in an FBI probe.
Instead, it was Clapper who told the White House late Wednesday, with Obama learning about it a day later. A senior h official defended the decision not to notify the president earlier, saying that staff “needed to get their arms around” the matter before briefing Obama, who had returned from his election trip to Chicago on Wednesday night.
Obama summoned Petraeus to the White House on Thursday and “made the decision alone overnight” to accept his CIA director’s resignation, the officialsaid.
So, if this related tale to the Washington Post is to be believed, DNI Clapper was informed at 5pm Tuesday during the elections. He spoke immediately with CIA Director Petraeus, more than once. And so critical was the situation that DNI Clapper quickly “advised” resignation.
Sit on that for a second. A Cabinet level director just “advised” the sitting director of the CIA to resign. It’s still Tuesday. (Don’t think for a second that resignation didn’t come up until someone slept on it. One doesn’t come to resignation conclusion after a good night’s sleep. It’s obvious immediately and it is “advised.”)
And the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sits on this until the nextday before informing the White House? He just does what, goes home an ponders the situation privately over a lonely fireside bourbon? He just advised the Director of Central Intelligence to resign his office immediately.
So DNI Clapper finally gets around to telling the White House staff the next day. It’s Wednesday, and still, we are to believe, the President of the United States has not been informed that a.) his CIA director is part of an investigation, b.) has compromised and exposed himself to blackmail or worse with an affair, and c.) has been “advised” by the DNI to resign immediately.
The White House staff just couldn’t figure out how to break the news to the boss. Just couldn’t “get their arms around” the tumult. So they apparently crawled around like panicked mice loose in a maze, bouncing head-first off of walls until finally one of them figured out a safe exit. Cheese reward for all. This took all of Wednesday. The president is busy, you know.
We are now to believe that Thursday, two days later, was the first day the President of the United States was made aware that his CIA Director is compromised and will be tendering his resignation. President Obama “summons Petraeus to the White House” where the CIA director tenders his resignation.
Here’s the morbidly entertaining part: Now President Obama needs a day to run around the mouse maze, bump off of walls and find the exit with the cheese. He doesn’t accept the resignation until the next day, Friday. Good thing the White House staff took prudent time to “get their arms around” the matter. It might have taken POTUS two days to figure out what to do.