Paula Broadwell decided to break her silence on her extramarital affair with David Petraeus in an exclusive interview with CBS News, saying she was "shocked" to learn the disgraced former general and CIA director was being considered for a cabinet position by Donald Trump.
Petraeus is one of a half dozen people being considered for secretary of state, noted CBS News.
Broadwell, a former Army intelligence officer turned journalist, was writing a biography on Petraeus when she became entangled in the salacious scandal in 2012. Petraeus pleaded guilty in 2015 in federal court to "unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents" in connection with the book and affair, said CBS News.
Broadwell, while never federally charged, was demoted from lieutenant colonel to major, lost her top secret security clearance and recently received a formal military reprimand.
Petraeus, hailed for his leadership in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, never faced any military discipline.
"I've been strongly advised to not talk to the press, and I understand that," Broadwell told CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell. "Sometimes it's better to remain silent. I've had that philosophy for the last five years. But I – I've reached a point where I feel like, 'You know what? I need to fight back for my life.'"
Broadwell, who is also married with two children, told CBS News she has been waiting to hear from the Army about her resignation paperwork.
"Well, they've been incredibly supportive, and I frankly owe my life to my husband and my children," said Broadwell. "They know I made a mistake and that it hurt daddy. And what I talk about with them is that when you make a mistake, you acknowledge it. Yet you don’t dwell on it. And you need to move forward at some point."
Broadwell said it has been difficult to move on, pointing to what she charges is a double-standard in her treatment since the affair compared to Petraeus. The New York Times reported in May that Petraeus was a partner at a private equity firm in New York, has advised the White House on its fight against the Islamic State and has affiliations with three universities.
Broadwell said she was denied a job at a bank because it feared of the media attention it would bring.
"… I think (Petraeus is) unequally qualified for many positions, but that's not my position to say,." Broadwell told CBS News. "As I woke up to the news, you know, it was a bit of a shocker that he was being considered for a Cabinet position, and I was – I was both shocked that I'm still in this tenuous position, and yet happy because I think he should be able to go on with his life. He's earned it, and so should his family. But then it begged the question of, 'Why shouldn't I be able to go on?'"
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