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Former CIA Director David Petraeus says he would work for Trump under ‘certain conditions’

U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of Multi-National Force - Iraq, briefs reporters at the Pentagon April 26, 2007, on his view of the military situation in Iraq. (DoD media/Robert D. Ward)
December 13, 2017

Retired Gen. David Petraeus said in a recent interview that he would would be interested in working for the Trump Administration under “certain conditions.”

In an interview with POLITICO Magazine, Petraeus confirmed that he had previously spoken to the Trump Administration about serving as secretary of state and national security adviser, but for him to take a position in the administration, “it would have to be a specific set of circumstances or be, frankly, [under] certain conditions.”

POLITICO (Twitter)

Petraeus didn’t specify what those conditions would be, but he said they were discussed with President Donald Trump last year.

Petraeus said he still talks to and is in contact with top members of Trump’s national security team, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

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As opposed to following Trump’s Twitter account, Petraeus said in the interview that people should focus their attention on “the troops, the money and the substance of policies, which we can overlook if we get too mesmerized by reading tweets.”

Petraeus praised Trump’s transfer of authority to military leaders and his foreign policy that has been “more continuity than you might have expected.”

However, Petraeus said he worries about Trump’s “occasional ambivalence about what does ‘America First’ mean relative to the traditional role of the United States in the post-World War II era and, particularly, in the post-Cold War era,” and that there hasn’t been an aggressive promotion of the virtues of democracy and free-market economics.

“American foreign policy does swing between so-called realism and idealism. But recent presidents certainly have been very active and vocal in, again, promoting those aspects, believing that, again, the more democracy in the world, the better for the United States, the more these values and freedoms and so forth are embraced, and the better for our country as well,” he said, adding that attacking journalism isn’t aligned with the democratic spirit.