‘‘I don’t see how in the world you can find out what happened in Benghazi before, during and after the attack if General Petraeus doesn’t testify,’’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Graham, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wants to create a joint congressional committee to investigate the U.S. response to that attack.
Feinstein said she first learned of Petraeus’ affair from the media late last week, and confirmed it in a phone call Friday with Petraeus. She eventually was briefed by the FBI and said so far there was no indication that national security was breached.
Still, Feinstein called the news ‘‘a heartbreak’’ for her personally and U.S. intelligence operations, and said she didn’t understand why the FBI didn’t give her a heads up as soon as Petraeus’ name emerged in the investigation.
‘‘We are very much able to keep things in a classified setting,’’ she said. ‘‘At least if you know, you can begin to think and then to plan. And, of course, we have not had that opportunity.’’
Clapper was told by the Justice Department of the Petraeus investigation at about 5 p.m. on Election Day, and then called Petraeus and urged him to resign, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.
FBI officials say the committees weren’t informed until Friday, one official said, because the matter started as a criminal investigation into harassing emails sent by Broadwell to another woman.
Concerned that the emails he exchanged with Broadwell raised the possibility of a security breach, the FBI brought the matter up with Petraeus directly, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.
Petraeus decided to quit, though he was breaking no laws by having an affair, officials said.
Feinstein said she has not been told the precise relationship between Petraeus and the woman who reported the harassing emails to the FBI.
Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the top Republican on the Senate intelligence committee, called Petraeus ‘‘a great leader’’ who did right by stepping down and still deserves the nation’s gratitude. He also didn’t rule out calling Petraeus to testify on Benghazi at some point.
‘‘He’s trying to put his life back together right now and that’s what he needs to focus on,’’ Chambliss said.
King appeared on CNN’s ‘‘State of the Union.’’ Feinstein was on ‘‘Fox News Sunday,’’ Graham spoke on CBS’ ‘‘Face the Nation,’’ and Chambliss was interviewed on ABC’s ‘‘This Week.’’
Associated Press writers Michele Salcedo, Pete Yost and Matthew Lee contributed to this report.