Petraeus Admits to 'Slipping My Moorings' in First Public Speech Post-Resignation

AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File

Former CIA director David Petraeus is making his first public speech since resigning in November over an extramarital affair.

The former four-star general is scheduled to speak Tuesday night at a University of Southern California event honoring the military.

A prepared text of his speech, obtained by the New York Times, indicates Petraeus will apologize for the affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Petraeus is expected to acknowledge that he's "regarded in a different light now" than he was a year ago and that he'll try to make amends and move forward as best he can.

The New York Times reports:

Acquaintances of Mr. Petraeus say he supported Mr. Obama’s decision to nominate John O. Brennan as his successor at the C.I.A., a view he communicated privately to two Republicans, Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as well as to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Mr. Petraeus has received offers from the financial community and has taken trips to New York to explore what one of his associates called “long-term opportunities.” He has been asked to serve as a consultant to major companies, been offered the opportunity to give paid speeches and is exploring positions in academia. Mr. Petraeus, 60, is also keeping up his physical fitness regimen, alternating between daily seven-mile runs and 25-mile bike rides.

His post-government life is being managed by Robert B. Barnett, a lawyer who handles book deals for the Washington elite and who counts the last three American presidents as clients.

The 60-year-old famed Iraq and Afghan war general retired from the military in 2011 and went on to lead the CIA. President Barack Obama accepted his resignation from the intelligence agency on November 9, saying Petraeus had "made our country safer and stronger."

The affair was discovered during an FBI investigation into emails Broadwell sent to another woman she saw as a rival for Petraeus' attention — emails the other woman viewed as threatening.

Petraeus told his staffers at the time that he was guilty of "extremely poor judgment" in the affair. "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours," he told CIA employees in a statement.

Petraeus is expected to tell the crowd Tuesday: “I know that I can never fully assuage the pain that I inflicted on those closest to me and on a number of others,” he will say. “I can, however, try to move forward in a manner that is consistent with the values to which I subscribed before slipping my moorings and, as best as possible, to make amends to those I have hurt and let down.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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