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November 17, 2012

Women in Petraeus scandal had visited White House

WASHINGTON — The two women at the center of the David Petraeus scandal — the biographer with whom he had an extramarital affair and the socialite who received worrisome emails that led investigators to uncover the illicit relationship — visited the White House on separate and apparently unrelated occasions. Neither woman met with President Barack Obama during their visits.

Petraeus resigned as CIA director last week after acknowledging an affair with writer Paula Broadwell. In briefings Friday with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the retired four-star general was apologetic and regretful and insisted that his resignation was related only to his personal behavior.

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 in the White House complex, a White House official said.

Jill Kelley, the Tampa, Fla., socialite who initiated the investigation that revealed the 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 Nov. 6 election.

The White House visits by Broadwell and Kelley illustrate the wide-ranging access both women enjoyed because of their ties with Petraeus, Gen. John Allen and others in the close-knit military community. The White House official discussed their visits on condition of anonymity because the visitors logs being cited have yet to be made public.

The FBI began an investigation after Kelley turned over anonymous emails that had been sent to her and 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.

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