Petraeus Is Problematic Pick for Trump Due to His Handling of Classified Material: Rand Paul

Republican Sen. Rand Paul said there’s a “potential problem” with retired Gen. David Petraeus as secretary of state because of his “similarities” with former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on classified information.

Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency Gen. (Ret.) David H. Petraeus speaks at the 2016 Concordia Summit on Sept. 19, 2016, in Credit: Ben Hider/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

Former Director, Central Intelligence Agency Gen. (Ret.) David H. Petraeus speaks at the 2016 Concordia Summit on Sept. 19, 2016, in Credit: Ben Hider/Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

“You know, I think the problem they’re going to have if they put him forward is there’s a lot of similarities to Hillary Clinton as far as revealing classified information,” Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.” “I think that’s a potential problem.”

Petraeus, once a widely celebrated military leader who oversaw operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, was sentenced to serve two years on probation and to pay a $100,000 fine for sharing classified information with his biographer and lover, Paula Broadwell.

But during the campaign, Trump castigated Clinton for her handling of classified information, despite the fact that an FBI investigation resulted in no charges being brought against her.

Trump met with Petraeus on Monday.

“Just met with General Petraeus–was very impressed!” he tweeted afterward.

A top Paul aide, Doug Stafford retweeted Trump adding: “Hillary does it — ‘lock her up.’ Gen Petraeus does it — CABINET POST! No.”

Other names being floated for the position include former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton and former 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Paul said he wanted a secretary of state who understands foreign policy, specifically the issues with the Iraq War — a signal he could be willing to oppose Trump’s eventual nominee. The Senate must approve Cabinet nominations and with a narrowly divided body, Trump needs to rally nearly every Republican to his side in order to ensure confirmations.

Sen. Rand Paul emerges from a closed-door weekly policy meeting with Senate Republicans, at the U.S. Capitol, May 10, 2016, in Washington, DC. (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sen. Rand Paul emerges from a closed-door weekly policy meeting with Senate Republicans, at the U.S. Capitol, May 10, 2016, in Washington, DC. (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“What I want is somebody who understands that the Iraq War was a mistake, the nation-building has been a mistake, and that regime change has been a mistake,” Paul said. “These are things that Donald Trump has expressed and I believe and agree with completely, which is why I supported him.

“But I don’t believe Bolton, I don’t believe Giuliani have understood that or come to understand the historical significance of that. I’m unsure where Romney is on this … Because if we don’t understand those lessons, we’re still facing the same kind of questions,” he added.

Blitzer asked Paul if he’d been contacted by the Trump administration about a possible job.

“I have not been,” he said. “I’m pretty happy with my current job.”