Petraeus apologizes to Congress for affair

Petraeus apologizes to Congress for affair
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In his first appearance before Congress in nearly three years, retired four-star Army General David Petraeus on Tuesday issued a public apology for an extramarital affair that led to his resignation as CIA director.

"Four years ago, I made a serious mistake — one that brought discredit on me and pain to those closest to me. It was a violation of the trust placed in me and a breach of the values to which I had been committed throughout my life," he said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. policy in the Middle East.

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It is not the first time the former Iraq War commander has apologized in public. The first apology came in March 2013, after he stepped down in November 2012. Still, it was the first time he had apologized specifically to the committee, and notable given such a public forum. 

Petraeus resigned from the CIA after acknowledging an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, a fellow West Point graduate and Army officer.

He was sentenced to two years of probation and fined $100,000 for sharing classified information with Broadwell.

"There is nothing I can do to undo what I did. I can only say again how sorry I am to those I let down and then strive to go forward with a greater sense of humility and purpose and with gratitude to those who stood with me during a very difficult chapter in my life," he said on Tuesday.

Senators from both sides of the aisle thanked Petraeus for coming before the committee, given his expertise as former top military commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as CIA director from September 2011 to November 2012.

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) thanked Petraeus for his apology, calling it a "huge indicator of character."

"Which," he added, "I think is the essential quality of leadership...and is very meaningful."