Morning Joe | November 13, 2012
>> top of the hour. welcome back to " morning joe ." mark haleprin and jon meacham are still with us. meacham is out with the new book.
>> great book.
>> that's a good book. where's my copy, meacham, you gave joe one.
>> i want to point out, again, thomas jefferson sent no inappropriate e-mails.
>> are you like my dad? are you going to make me buy it? yeah. okay. i got ya.
>> brzezinski family values .
>> yes, he makes me buy his books.
>> does he really?
>> he does.
>> those are old country values.
>> joining us in a moment will be another historian, former speaker of the house newt gingrich . he's co-author of the new book "victory at yorktown." he'll be here in just a moment. but first, we want to begin with developing news in the general david petraeus scandal. the investigation now involves the top commander in afghanistan. general john allen is being investigated for alleged inappropriate communications with jill kelley . kelley is the woman who reportedly received those threatening e-mails from paula broadwell , david petraeus ' biographer with whom petraeus is said to have an affair. general allen took over military command in afghanistan from general petraeus after petraeus was tapped for the cia. wow. now officials are reviewing up to 30,000 pages of communications between allen and ms. kelley . although it's not clear if the e-mails involved sexual material or classified information . overnight in charlotte, north carolina , fbi agents searched the home of paula broadwell , seen leaving the home with boxes, suitcases, and photographs. new details, meanwhile, continue to emerge about the fbi 's handling.
>> so i wonder -- we've talked about judges offering warrants. i wonder what judge offered a warrant to go in there --
>> it's consent.
>> this is consensual.
>> yes, the fbi agent who launched the initial investigation was later pulled off the case due to inappropriate behavior, including allegedly sending shirtless photos of himself to jill kelley .
>> that was sent before the investigation began. jill kelley went to him after receiving the shirtless photos about this complaint.
>> and jill kelley is a friend of the petraeus family. that agent apparently grew concerned the investigation into the harassing e-mails had stalled. and contacted a member of congress. even though the white house reportedly was still unaware of the case. chair of the senate intelligence committee senator dianne feinstein says she's growing more concerned as this story unfolds.
>> generally what we call the four corners, the chair and ranking both committees are briefed on operationally sensitive matters. this is certainly an operationally sensitive manner. but we weren't briefed. i don't know who made that decision. and i think, you know, that makes it that much more difficult. this thing came so fast and so hard and since then it's been like peeling an onion. every day, another peel comes off and you see a whole new dimension to this. so my concern has actually escalated over the last few days.
>> mika, this just doesn't add up.
>> i -- i just get the feeling there's a whole other story going on here. that this is just the periphery.
>> something's way off here, mark.
>> look, it's rare that everyone in elite political media circles has the same feeling, but that's going on right now. and that leaves aside the timing of election day and benghazi factor. those two issues, which were so white hot in the first moments of this have been overshadowed by the drum beat of revelations. but those things are going to come back into play and may not be -- there may not be causal causality, but the timing is going to come back into this. i guarantee it. and let's remove benghazi and election day from that, we've been focusing more on the beginning of the investigation. but, again, you just wonder how the fbi continues this investigation from -- through one wall after another wall after another wall. and it continues. it just doesn't add up. the fact that, again, people in washington social circles are talking about this.
>> and yet, we're supposed to believe that nobody in the white house didn't know this? did the attorney general know this? if the attorney general knew this, he certainly should've told white house counsel about this.
>> well, you would think whenever the phrase cia director and inappropriate and fbi investigation, were all those words.
>> and harassment and threatening.
>> that's before we get to shirtless. when all those phrases are in one paragraph, you -- it would seem you would have some sort of protocol for --
>> especially considering that david petraeus was the president's most important asset in his war on terror . the drone strikes, remember the "new york times" article where the president would be handed a list of suspects and he picked the ones that we were going to kill with drone attacks. that comes from the cia. that comes from david petraeus . he and petraeus were working hand in hand on this war on terror and mueller knows this. the fbi knows this.
>> well --
>> the attorney general knows this.
>> well, presumably. that's --
>> what i'm saying, they know that david petraeus is the key asset, the cia director .
>> in their understandable privacy concerns about -- if, in fact, they decided there was nothing here, you know, at what point do you limit it? does that still apply? if you're talking about, again, the cia director , his whole other question. one of the things mark and i were talking about a little earlier was there doesn't seem to be an explanation of why there was a month gap reportedly between the going to ms. broadwell and then going to petraeus . there was some -- i think there's some delay there. so the time line of this investigation and the responsible chain of command are fascinating questions.
>> let's peel back the curtain, though, a little bit. these stories now are being driven by very chatty people. you've got law enforcement people, military people , intelligence people, private lawyers for some of the people involved being extraordinarily chatty. you can imagine information being shut down. the chattiness doesn't necessarily mean they're all being accurate and honest and full. you're seeing stories that don't have reportedly or allegedly -- but at some point, people are start to pick at these accounts and find they're not totally consistent and in some cases self-serving. things being told about who knew what when, the accounts aren't going to add up because people are telling reporters things to try to control the story rather than to really put out a complete story.
>> and again, and the question -- and we're going to figure this out. but when did ericho holder, the attorney general , eric mueller know about this? why did they breakthrough all these walls after they found out there was no national security issue being handled. they continued the investigation, continued to breakthrough one wall after another wall after another wall.
>> and he steps down.
>> and we're hearing nobody in the white house knows about this and yet people in washington social circles know about this. come on.
>> this does not add up.
>> for the first time, secretary of defense leon panetta who previously served as director of the cia weighed in about general david petraeus ' sudden resignation. during a flight to australia, reporters asked if general petraeus could be prosecuted if it's determined he was having an affair while on active duty in the military.
>> you know, i don't know. i don't know the answer to that. i guess i'm reading the papers like you are to determine just, you know, what the committee finds out, what the ultimate investigation determines on that issue. we obviously are going to watch this closely to determine just exactly, you know, when that took place.
>> panetta also appeared to side with lawmakers who say the fbi should've informed them about the investigation sooner.
>> that's another issue i think we ought to look at.