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CIA director David Petraeus submitted his resignation to the White House on Friday, citing an extramarital affair.
NBC News first obtained the resignation letter, which was dated Friday and sent to CIA staffers. In it, he states that he went to President Obama on Thursday and admitted the affair.
“Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours,” he wrote. Petraeus added in the letter that the president “graciously accepted my resignation.”
“Dave's decision to step down represents the loss of one of our nation's most respected public servants," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement to CBS News. “From his long, illustrious Army career to his leadership at the helm of CIA, Dave has redefined what it means to serve and sacrifice for one's country.”
Petraeus was previously in charge of US forces in Iraq and later in the war in Afghanistan. Obama picked him to replace Leon Panetta in April 2011. Panetta is now the Secretary of Defence.
Sources for NBC News say that deputy CIA director Mike Morrell is the likely candidate to replace Petraeus as acting director.
Morell is a longtime CIA officer and analyst and was with President George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001. He was also with the Obama administration in the situation room when Osama bin Laden was killed.