Petraeus scandal: 'Wouldn't call it welcome,' says White House (+video)
According to a nearly complete investigation, Marine Gen. John Allen played a role in the scandal which prompted CIA Director David Petraeus' resignation. General Allen's involvement has delayed a planned White House decision to transfer him to Europe.
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The scandal complicates President Barack Obama's efforts to reorganize his national security team following his re-election. The White House said it still had faith in Allen, but its plans to transfer him to Europe, where he would head U.S. and allied forces, have been suspended.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The Petraeus affair: the players
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Obama also has to find a replacement for Petraeus at the CIA at a time when the president is vetting candidates to head the State and Defense departments.
The scandal could throw a wrench into Obama's relations with Congress at a time when he is engaging in high-stakes budget negotiations to avoid the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff."
"I certainly wouldn't call it welcome," White House spokesman Jay Carney said of the scandal.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Allen, a four-star Marine Corps general, would stay in his job for the time being, and the White House said Obama was still had confidence in Allen's ability to command the 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
Both Allen and the official due to replace him in Afghanistan, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before they can take up their new posts in February.
Lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee said they would go ahead with a confirmation hearing for Dunford on Thursday. Allen's appearance was canceled.
Allen had just submitted recommendations on what role the United States should play in Afghanistan after most American combat troops withdraw by the end of 2014.
A senior lawmaker said on Tuesday the Senate Intelligence Committee still wanted to talk to Petraeus about the CIA's role in events surrounding the September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
"The committee will talk to him, the committee thinks it's important," said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the panel's Democratic chairwoman. "The actual time of it is undecided at this point."
FBI agents searched Broadwell's Charlotte, North Carolina, home late on Monday in a sign that the case involving Petraeus was not fully closed.
Agents entered the house carrying boxes at around 9 p.m. (0200 GMT Tuesday) and emerged four hours later, carrying away what appeared to be two computers and about 10 boxes.
Broadwell's family was not at home at the time.
U.S. officials have said recently that their investigation was largely complete and that prosecutors had determined it was unlikely they would bring charges in that case, which started when Kelley contacted an FBI agent in Tampa.
That FBI agent, who has not been identified, came under scrutiny himself after it was discovered he had sent shirtless photographs of himself to Kelley "long before" this investigation, a law enforcement official told Reuters.
The agent, who alerted an FBI cyber squad to the Broadwell case, apparently became frustrated at the pace of the investigation and complained to a member of Congress about it, the official said.
IN PICTURES: The Petraeus affair: the players