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GOP senators: We’re open to Petraeus at State

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A trio of GOP senators say retired Gen. David Petraeus’s past should not bar him from being President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of State.

Petraeus, who is reportedly among the final four names Trump is considering to head the State Department, was sentenced to two years’ probation and fined $100,000 in 2015 for giving his mistress, who was also his biographer, classified information.

{mosads}“He is a very capable person and I think it’s totally reasonable that the president-elect evaluate whether he’s the person that a President Trump would need to do that job,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) told The Washington Examiner in an article published Thursday. “I don’t think it’s disqualifying.”

“For me, it’s a matter of, you look at it and you put it in proper perspective, and it’s a negative for him but there are some real positives for him as well,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said of Petraeus, a former CIA director. “For most of us, I think we’re trying to keep our powder dry. 

“We’ll look at all of the recommendations with at least a nod toward the new president as having the opportunity to choose the right people for the Cabinet and we’ll look at whether or not there are disqualifying issues with each one of them, just like I’m sure he’ll do as well.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) dismissed critics who compare Petraeus’s history to Hillary Clinton’s classified information woes.

“Unlike Secretary Clinton, we know what he did. We know what he did was wrong,” he said.

“He said it was wrong, he accepted punishment for his wrongdoing, and that’s a well-defined issue. Does he have a life going forward? I think he does. … I would certainly support his nomination.”

Petraeus pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material in 2015.

The former general gave author Paula Broadwell, his mistress, diaries containing classified information while she worked on a biography about him.

Trump’s critics have mocked him for considering Petraeus after his harsh criticism of Clinton for using a private email server as secretary of State.

Detractors say Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, may have jeopardized sensitive intelligence with the device.

Tags Cabinet Congress Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Lindsey Graham Republicans Roy Blunt Senate State Department

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