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At a news conference Wednesday in Perth, Australia, Panetta said, "No one should leap to any conclusions," and said he is fully confident in Allen’s ability to continue to lead in Afghanistan. He added that putting a hold on Allen’s European Command nomination was the "prudent" thing to do.
Known as a close friend of Petraeus, Kelley, 37, triggered the FBI investigation that led to the retired four-star general’s downfall as CIA director when she complained about getting anonymous, harassing emails. They turned out to have been written by Broadwell, who apparently was jealous of the attention the general paid to Kelley.
In the course of looking into that matter, federal investigators came across what a Pentagon official called potentially inappropriate communications between Allen and Kelley, both of them married.
Kelley served as a sort of social ambassador for U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla., hosting parties for Petraeus when he was commander there from 2008-10. The friendship with the Petraeus began when they arrived in Tampa, and the Kelleys threw a welcome party at their home, a short distance from Central Command headquarters, introducing the new chief and his wife, Holly, to Tampa’s elite, according to staffers who served with Petraeus.
Associated Press writers Pauline Jelinek, Lolita Baldor, Pete Yost, Adam Goldman, Jack Gillum, Larry Margasak, Julie Pace, Donna Cassata, Jim Abrams, Robert Burns and Slobodan Lekic contributed to this report.
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