David Petraeus: Clinton Is “Being Treated Fairly” Regarding Her Email Scandal

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In an wide-ranging interview to air on the premiere episode of FOX Business Network’s Wall Street Week this Friday, March 18th (8PM/ET), former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) General David Petraeus tells FBN’s Anthony Scaramucci and Maria Bartiromo about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the election cycle and the GOP presidential front runner Donald Trump. When talking about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, Petraeus said, “I think she’s being treated fairly and I think that, you know, there are people, there are critics who will claim otherwise.” Petraeus also commented about Donald Trump saying, “this is unlike any cycle that I think any of us can remember — is that the front-runner in this case — and also the number two on the Democratic side — has really tapped into something that is very, very different” and that “there is anxiety” in America.

General David Petraeus on whether he thinks Hillary Clinton is being treated differently than him:

“I think she’s being treated fairly and I think that, you know, there are people, there are critics who will claim otherwise.  There are supporters, actually, who will claim otherwise, both sides are given to fanciful conspiracy theories.  I think the debate among them and the treatment actually has been fair.  And I think we’ll see how this plays out.”

General David Petraeus on his thoughts on the election cycle:

“Well, I think what you really have to take from this — because this is unlike any cycle that I think any of us can remember — is that the front-runner in this case — and also the number two on the Democratic side — has really tapped into something that is very, very different.  There’s a sense out there among a sizable part of the United States citizenry that unlike every other generation before, they might not actually be able to provide a better future for their children…there is anxiety.  And this is astonishing in some respects, if you just — sheer numbers, 4.9 percent unemployment rate, even the percentage of those employed, if you will, that were off out of the market, coming back in, is actually gradually easing up.  GDP growth, not spectacular but 2 to 2.5 percent for the world’s largest economy while China is slowing down.  The rest of the world is experiencing a bumpy ride.”

General David Petraeus on whether Donald Trump would  get the right advisers to help him with foreign policy:

“Well, I would certainly hope that he would obviously.  And again, it’s all well and good to say that you consult with yourself.  But I want to know at some point who are the individuals on whom he’s going to rely, even individuals in the past who have been extraordinarily strong, say, in foreign policy — Richard Nixon is an example — I mean, he still had the sense to hire Dr. Kissinger.”

General David Petraeus on naming the new Supreme Court Justice and whether the two sides not being able to get together:

“Well, it has very much so.  And I think this is why I highlighted earlier the fact that this election seems to be showing that politics as usual, which has been quite dysfunctional, frankly, with the exception of last year, I think you do have to give credit to Congress passing trade promotion authority for the president and then the omnibus bill, which had a lot of very, very good elements in it.  And funded the budget for two years.”

General David Petraeus on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court:

“So this is going to be a very interesting one because the nomination of Judge Garland clearly is one that is not, you know, a hard Left or a pandering to the liberal wing, if you will, of the president’s own party.  This is a centrist; this is an individual, an established track record and it’s going to be a very interesting debate.”

General David Petraeus on whether we are safer today than in the past:

“Well, I think it’s gone up and down.  I think Americans in general are safe.  But I think that the threats are more complex an arguably more numerous than they have been in the past. I think if you talk to law enforcement professionals, especially those in the intelligence business, they feel as if they have they have the kinds of insights that they generally need to prevent attacks and they’re doing a great deal of that, much of it without ever surfacing and seeing daylight, if you will. But they feel also a little bit on edge.  They feel worried that they might miss something.  They’re concerned about the possibility of, again, the so-called “lone wolf” attacks, the individual who self-radicalizes after reading something in social media from the Islamic State or some other extremist organization. And so they’re worried about that.  They’re working very, very hard to ensure that they can identify and then preempt attacks before they take place.”

General David Petraeus on his thoughts of the Apple controversy with the FBI:

“Well, clearly there is a tension here between privacy rights and really rights of technologists, if you will, to make machines that people will buy.  And then on the other hand the legitimate needs of law enforcement and the intelligence agencies to be able to get information from these devices. This is being played out in a very, very public and big way right now.  I mean, if you ask me, do I want our government to have the ability to decrypt what someone has on a phone, I’d say yes. Do I want Apple to make a backdoor to enable that? I would say no. So a bit like Mike Hayden, former NSA and CIA director, I don’t think Apple should be compelled to make a backdoor because I think it would make the entire technology so much more unsafe.”

General David Petraeus on whether Apple is being asked to create software that will make everybody vulnerable:

“Well, that’s exactly the question.  And of course I think, again, along with Mike Hayden a number of others who have been surprisingly, I think, resistant to the notion that they should be compelled to create software that penetrates their own system, I have serious questions about that and real reservations and, of course, this is an international issue.  This is not just about the United States, where I think we generally trust our government to make use of what it has. What happens when China goes to Apple and says there’s a — you know, somebody is on the wrong side of the political debate here; we want you to help decrypt his phone? What about Russia, who might go after someone, again, in the human rights realm or something like this? So that’s the issue.  It’s a very, very significant one.  I have sometimes wondered if it might not have been better if there was a quiet conversation with Apple where they said this is a really serious issue privately, can you help us find what is in this phone?”

General David Petraeus on whether Apple could be operating in China without giving the Chinese government access:

“I think to date, again, we’ll have to see what they might be willing to reveal. And again, certainly over the course of the last decade or more, as these mobile systems in particular have multiplied so much, there generally has been a supportive approach.  And that was certainly my experience within my last government job. The problem has been, number one, the Snowden affair has cost firms like Google tens of billions of dollars.  It has threatened many others.  And so there’s a reservation now that did not exist before; there’s a concern that, again, wasn’t present before.  And you can see this sort of ebbing and flowing back and forth.”

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