Obama's CIA Director David Petraeus resigns, admits extra-marital affair

David Petraeus

He's respected, a straight shooter, and has great relationships with the White House and Capitol Hill. Not to mention over 30 years of agency experience, said a former CIA official, who called Morell the odds-on favorite.

Other possible candidates being discussed on Capitol Hill include John Brennan, Obama's chief counter-terrorism adviser; Obama's national security adviser Thomas Donilon; and former congresswoman Jane Harman, who chaired the House intelligence committee.

Petraeus' resignation also adds a new vacancy on Obama's national security team. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she will leave after Obama's first term, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is widely expected to leave as well.

Petraeus' wife, Holly, has been an advocate for US veterans and head of the Office of Servicemember Affairs at the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Last month, Petraeus and his wife appeared together at a reception at the Canadian Embassy in Washington to celebrate the premiere of the Ben Affleck film Argo, which chronicles a successful operation in which the CIA and Canadian diplomats smuggled a group of US officials out of Tehran during the 1979-81 US Embassy hostage crisis.

At the Pentagon, people who worked closely with Petraeus expressed shock at the revelations and at his resignation.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement: I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation, but I understand and respect the decision.

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