PoliticsNation | November 12, 2012
>> sense, from td ameritrade .
>>> welcome back to politics nation. we're learning new details about the affair that ended david petraeus ' career as head of the cia . nbc reports the unraveling of the affair began as a cyber harass the probe late this spring. that's when jill kelly , a close friend of the petraeus family, reported she had received several anonymous and harassing e-mails. the e-mails referred to kelly socializing with other generals in the tampa area, suggesting it was inappropriate and should stop. and warning her to stay away from petraeus . ultimately will the fbi traced the e-mails back to petraeus ' biography paula broadwell . and during the investigation, they discovered e-mails from pa tray to us broadwell that showed the two were having an extramarital affair . there's still a lot we don't know about the petraeus resignation. why would paula broadwell send threatening e-mails to jill kelley? did broadwell have access to confidential information ? while there are legitimate questions that need to be answered, some on the right are back to their old tricks trying to turn this into something it's not.
>> this is an administration that is practicing now serial deception. this is a very convenient way to get the administration out of a very, very difficult situation. but this is inevitable. it's like water gate .
>> it's been going on for several months and now they're appearing that the fbi didn't realize until election day that general petraeus was involved. just doesn't add up.
>> i would suggest that we have a joint swleelect committee of house and senate members, not do this together, not have three different committees going off in three different directions so we can get to the about the bottom of it like we did in water gate and iran contra .
>> let's just focus on getting the facts. joining me now is michael isikoff , national investigative correspondent for nbc news. he's been breaking some of the big details in this case over the last few days. first of all, michael , thanks for being here tonight.
>> good to be with you.
>> what do we know about how this investigation got started? the e-mails that paula broadwell september to jill kelly , is that really how it started?
>> well, that's basically it. in late may jill kelley, who is in tampa , has known general petraeus for quite some time, is quite prominent socially in the tampa area, starts getting these anonymous e-mails that are quite menacing a source close to her says, suggesting that she's been socializing inappropriately with high level generals from the u.s. southern command and central command which are based in tampa and that she ought to stop it. and as the e-mails continue, they make references to her socializing with why not pa tgeneral petraeus . and perhaps more menacing, if you will, the e-mails seem to indicate that the anonymous sender of the e-mails knows the comings and goings of general petraeus and some of the generals. and that's what causes her to turn the e-mails over to the fbi and the fbi to take them quite seriously.
>> now, what can you you tell us about paula broadwell who they traced these e-mails back to?
>> well, look, it took some time because as one source told me, she had covered her tracks quite women and it was not at all clear who the sender was originally. but they did trace it back to paula bloodwell. paula broadwell clearly was quite public about her friendship with general petraeus . i was actually on a panel with paula broadwell at the aspen security forum last july in which she was quite open about how much access she had to general petraeus when she was writing the biography of him, how she also had access to classified information . this made people uncomfortable. she made a point of saying she had a high level security clearance and that she didn't consider herself a journalist. and i should point out that there were a lot of people close to general petraeus who wondered why he had chosen paula broadwell who had no background as a journalist, no background as a biographer, to be his biographer. but this was at a stage in general petraeus ' career when very few people were going to question his judgment.
>> because a lot of people are asking if broadwell had access to too much confidential information . listen to what she said about the benghazi consulate attacks in a speech just last month. listen to this, michael .
>> i don't know if a lot of you heard this, but the cia annex had actually taken a couple of libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back. so that's still being vetted.
>> i mean, is that something she should have known, is there evidence that she had confidential information about benghazi or anything?
>> well, that would be certainly something you would want to ask her about. because that is an entreeging tidbit. of course the cia has denied this is the case. if it were true, it would seem to potentially violate one of president obama 's original executive orders . and she does say in there that this is still being vet vetted suggesting this was a piece of intelligence that was not clear, although you would think the cia would know for sure whether it was hold be a prisoner in ben benghazi . we'll be watching. michael , thanks for your time tonight. coming up, president obama 's emotional speech to staffers was one surprise. and today, a new behind the scenes video of the president with his staffers. you need to see what happens in this one. plus the gop in crisis. republicans are throwing karl rove under the bus. and it could get very ugly. and who is pointing fingers at rush limbaugh ? it's a big story tonight.