A recently released audio recording revealed that former CIA director David Petraeus said his wife would divorce him if he followed through with a campaign for the presidential seat.
The Washington Post obtained a 2011 audio recording of Petraeus' 90-minute meeting with Fox News national security analyst Kahleen T. McFarland who, on behalf of Fox News Chief Roger Ailes, pitched an idea to get Petraeus in the White House. At the time, Petraeus was commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Ailes' advice, relayed by McFarland, was that Petraeus should turn down an offer from President Obama to become CIA director (which they expected) and accept nothing less than the position of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the news report stated on Monday. If Obama would not make such an offer, however, Petraeus should run for president.
McFarland said Ailes might step down from his position at Fox to run Petraeus' potential presidential campaign, and also suggested that News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch would "bankroll" his bid. Even so, Petraeus turned down the offer during the meeting and said, "It' never going to happen."
"My wife would divorce me," he said. "And I love my wife. . . . We have a beautiful house. With his-and-hers bathrooms, believe it or not. I just want to live in it."
Petraeus accepted the position of CIA director soon after the recorded meeting. Since then, he resigned due to the scandal that surfaced about his extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. A source close to his family said Petraeus' wife, Holly, threatened him with a divorce since the affair surfaced
Ailes told the publication on Monday that the reported pitch was indeed made at the meeting back in 2011, but that it was more of a "joke" and just a way to "shake up" the Republican primaries.