Michael J. Morell, who served as Petraeus’s deputy at the CIA, will serve as interim director, a position he occupied for several months before Petraeus was sworn in. Morell is seen as a leading candidate to replace Petraeus, but there are others, including Michael G. Vickers, a former CIA paramilitary officer now serving as undersecretary of defense for intelligence.
Petraeus came into the CIA job after a highly decorated Army career that included command of the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, which made him one of the most venerated officers of his generation.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-
Calif.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Friday that she believed Petraeus’s infidelity did not require him to resign.
“I wish President Obama had not accepted this resignation, but I understand and respect the decision,” she said in a statement. She described Petraeus’s resignation as an “enormous loss for our nation’s intelligence community and for our country.”