Ex-CIA boss Petraeus indicates would serve Trump if asked

November 23, 2016 2:47 AM EST

Former CIA director David Petraeus speaks after leaving the Federal Courthouse in Charlotte, North Carolina, April 23, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Keane


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LONDON (Reuters) - Retired U.S. general David Petraeus indicated on Wednesday that he would serve in President-elect Donald Trump's administration if he was offered a job, according to an interview on Britain's BBC radio.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Petraeus, who resigned as CIA chief in 2012 after an extra-marital affair was revealed, was under consideration for the post of defense secretary.

Asked if he would agree to serve in the Trump administration, Petraeus said: "I've been in a position before where a president has turned to me in the Oval Office in a difficult moment and .... said 'I'm asking you as your president and commander-in-chief to take command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan'.

"The only response can be 'yes, Mr President'."

Petraeus was a four-star general in the U.S. Army and oversaw international forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was later appointed as CIA director by President Barack Obama.

Asked during his BBC interview if he thought Trump had the right temperament to be president, Petraeus said: "We're going to have to see.

"I'm not someone who's had contact with him in the past. I don't know how he operates. It's interesting that those who have been talking to him have said he's a very personable, very hospitable, very gracious guy, full of questions and dialogue.

"This is a guy who's done pretty well in life."

Pressed further on the pressures of the office of U.S. president and whether he had confidence that Trump was capable of doing the job, Petraeus said: "I think so, yes. It's up to Americans not only to hope that that is the case, but if they can, endeavor to help him."

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and William Schomberg)



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