CIA chief Petraeus denies interest in elected office

WASHINGTON Tue Aug 7, 2012 6:25pm EDT

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency General David Petraeus attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 12, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency General David Petraeus attends the Allen & Co Media Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 12, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Urquhart

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - CIA director General David Petraeus has no plans to become a candidate for vice president or run for any other elected office, a spokesman for the spy chief said on Tuesday.

"Director Petraeus feels very privileged to be able to continue to serve our country in his current position, and, as he has stated clearly numerous times before, he will not seek elected office," CIA spokesman Todd Ebitz told Reuters.

The agency issued the statement in response to rumors which appear to have originated with a report on the widely read website Drudgereport.com, run by Internet gossip Matt Drudge.

Drudge claimed in an "exclusive" report that President Barack Obama this week "whispered to a top fundraiser" that he believed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney wanted to name Petraeus, a highly decorated former combat commander, as his running mate.

The report said that Romney had secretly met with Petraeus in New Hampshire, an assertion which government officials said was false.

In July, Drudge, who is known to have high-level contacts in the conservative movement and the Republican Party, reported that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was "near the top" of Romney's list of vice presidential prospects. That report was also strongly denied.

Both the Petraeus and Rice reports were recirculated by some mainstream media outlets.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Jackie Frank)

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