U.S. News Exclusive Interview: Broadwell Hailed Petraeus as 'Relentless' Mentor During Affair

During her secret affair with Petraeus, Broadwell hailed the CIA director as a "relentless" mentor.

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Paula Broadwell spoke in glowing terms about Gen. David Petraeus and his legacy to U.S. News back in February, just weeks after the publication of her biography of the four-star general, "All In: The Education of General David Petraeus."

"Petraeus's legacy is still being established," she said at the time. "I don't think he will leave the national security apparatus for decades if he has anything to do with it."

The revelation of the affair between Broadwell, 40, and the CIA director, 60, led to his resignation last week.

Broadwell also said Petraeus's lasting legacy would likely be on account of his "relentless" mentorship of young people.

[READ: The Full Broadwell Interview]

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"He helps a young leader; he doesn't expect them to help him back," she said, noting that the general who served more than 37 years in the U.S. Army "takes time" each night to "clear out his inbox...responding personally to many requests."

Broadwell was well-acquainted with one of Petraeus's inboxes; it was through Gmail messages on a shared account that FBI agents discovered the affair. Broadwell, a married Army scholar with two children, is based in North Carolina but is currently holed up at her brother's home in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of D.C., according to the Washington City Paper.

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In the interview, Broadwell also described Petraeus's leadership style, calling it "transformational." She defended criticism of the general's supposedly self-promotional style, saying he was "forthright" about his setbacks and successes.

"Embedding with the HQ in Afghanistan gave me a new perspective for the burdens of war from the commander's point of view," she said. "It is not an easy job to do, and it takes its toll on leaders of every rank and stripe."

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at eflock@usnews.com.