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Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Feinstein: 'We will need to talk to David Petraeus' about Benghazi

Congressman Peter King, who serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, tells TODAY's Matt Lauer that the FBI had an "absolute obligation to tell the president" as soon as General Petraeus' name came up in the agency's investigation.

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says she will seek testimony from former CIA Director David Petraeus, who resigned Friday as CIA director after acknowledging an extramarital affair, about the September attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.

“I have no doubt now that we will need to talk with David Petraeus and we will likely do that in closed session. But it will be done one way or another,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell on Monday.

Feinstein also she also may subpoena reports on a trip Petraeus took to Libya in the last year.


“I believe that Director Petraeus made a trip to the region shortly before this (Petraeus affair) became public,” Feinstein said on "Andrea Mitchell Reports." “We have asked to see the trip report. One person tells me he’s read it, and then we try to get it and they tell me it hasn’t been done. That’s unacceptable.” 

“It may have some very relevant information to what happened in Benghazi,” Feinstein said.

A week and a half ago, Petraeus went to Tripoli and conducted a personal inquiry into the Benghazi attack, NBC News has confirmed.

Petraeus has not commented on his trip to Benghazi last month.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., tells NBC's Andrea Mitchell that "a decision was made somewhere not to brief" the Senate Intelligence Committee about on the Petraeus affair and compares the scandal to "peeling an onion," saying "every day another peel comes off," revealing "a new dimension"

Petraeus revelation began as cyber-harassment probe

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith and security personnel Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were killed in the Benghazi attack on Sept. 11-12.

Petraeus, a decorated four-star general who received widespread praise for the surge strategy that helped stabilize the insurgency in Iraq, resigned as CIA director on Friday, citing an extramarital affair.

Numerous federal government officials have told NBC News that the married general had a relationship with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, 40, who authored “All In,” a book about Petraeus’ education.

Feinstein said she received no advance notice of Petraeus’ resignation or the affair.

The affair came to light after an FBI investigation into harassing emails sent to a family friend of Petraeus, Jill Kelley, sources have told NBC News. The investigation traced the emails to Broadwell, who revealed the affair. Petraeus also admitted the affair.

The FBI determined that no criminal charges would be filed as a result of the investigation.

Lawmakers question timing of Petraeus resignation

But now, Feinstein has linked the Petraeus affair with another controversy within the Obama administration – the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic mission in Libya.

The Senate Intelligence committee planned to start closed-door hearings on the Benghazi attack on Thursday with further proceedings expected to follow. Petraeus had been expected to testify at the hearings before he resigned as CIA director.

Republican lawmakers and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have criticized the administration’s evolving explanation of what triggered the Benghazi attack. Officials early on said it was a spontaneous reaction during a protest about an anti-Islamic film. Later, it was termed a planned terrorist attack.

Questions have also been raised about whether the consulate had adequate security and whether the State Department responded appropriately to requests for more protection.

Feinstein also questioned Broadwell's role as Petraeus' biographer. 

“It’s a rather confused situation because  at one point she was an Army reservist doing intelligence-related work, at the same time she was doing a journalist’s work, a biography on David Petraeus,” Feinstein said. “It seems to me these two things don’t go together, it seems to me someone who becomes active military should not be writing a book.”

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