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National Security Trumped Politics In Petraeus Scandal, Cantor Says

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When a shirtless FBI agent called, Cantor answered. “I thought that the best thing at the time was not to politicize it and to put national security first,” the House majority leader says.

Image by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters Wednesday that he kept silent about his knowledge of Gen. David Petraeus' extramarital affair because he did not want to "politicize" the investigation.

Cantor's office was contacted in late October by the FBI agent who knew Jill Kelley and informed of the ongoing investigation into Petraeus. According to news reports, the agent had become frustrated by the progress of the investigation, although he had been blocked by the FBI from working on the case.

"I had no way of corroborating the story I was told, and I thought that the best thing at the time was not to politicize it and to put national security first," Cantor explained to reporters in a press conference with House Republican leadership.

Consistent with previous reports, Cantor said he had contacted the FBI because he was "confident" that they would address the case appropriately.


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