Women in Petraeus scandal visited White House

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The two women at the center of David Petraeus’ downfall as CIA director visited the White House separately on various occasions in what appear to be unrelated calls that did not result in meetings with President Barack Obama.

A White House official said Paula Broadwell, who was writing a book about Petraeus and eventually became his paramour, attended meetings in June 2009 and June 2011 on Afghanistan-Pakistan policy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is located on the White House complex not far from the West Wing.

Florida socialite Jill Kelley, who initiated the investigation that ultimately unveiled Petraeus’ extramarital affair, and her twin sister had two “courtesy” meals at the White House mess as guests of a midlevel White House aide in September and October, the official said. Kelley and her family also received a White House tour on the weekend before the election.

Their White House visits, while not at the top levels of the government, illustrate the wide-ranging access both women enjoyed.

Petraeus acknowledged his affair with Broadwell last Friday and resigned. The affair was discovered in an FBI investigation initiated after Kelley turned over anonymous emails that had been sent to her and Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Kelley was a friend of both Petraeus and Allen and had become a social liaison between the Tampa civilian community and the military at MacDill Air Force Base.

One anonymous email, ultimately traced to Broadwell, warned Allen to stay away from Kelley. FBI agents ultimately found emails between Petraeus and Broadwell that lead them to believe the two were having an affair.

Kelley did not meet with Obama or any senior White House officials during any of her visits, said the official, who insisted on anonymity because the visitor records have not yet been made public.

The official said the White House aide who hosted Kelley met the Kelley family at MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa. The official would not identify the aide.

Kelley boasted about her White House visits in emails to acquaintances.

In an email to a Tampa Bay Times reporter on Sept. 28, published by the newspaper, Kelley wrote: “Btw I was made the (honorary) Ambassador to US Central Command’s Coalition!” she told a Times reporter in a Sept. 28 email. “In addition to that, I was just recently appointed to be the Honorary Consulate General to South Korea! I’m in DC today — just left from breakfast at the White House. . . . I really hope to see you soon!”

And days before the Petraeus scandal broke, Kelley emailed Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn: “I was at the WH with my friends in the Administration this weekend — the stress was surreal!” she wrote. “But glad POTUS has been reelected!”

As for Broadwell, she at no time set foot in the Executive Mansion and had no opportunity to see Obama, the official said.

Her June 2009 visit was to meet a national security staffer working on Afghanistan-Pakistan policy matters. In the June 2011 visit, Broadwell was one of 20 participants in a broad briefing on Afghanistan-Pakistan policy. That meeting occurred shortly before Obama delivered a national address announcing the start of troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.

The official said that meeting was not listed in public White House visitor logs because it met a national security exemption to White House disclosure policy.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.