Despite voicing reservations during the campaign trail, former Central Intelligence Agency chief and retired general David Petraeus said Wednesday that he would accept a position in President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet in an interview with BBC Radio.
Petraeus is one of several retired military figures being considered for the defense secretary position in Trump's administration. He served as a four-star general in Iraq and Afghanistan before being assigned CIA Director by President Barack Obama. Petraeus resigned in 2012 after it was revealed he shared classified information with an extra-marital lover.
The law mandates that the Department of Defense head be a civilian who has not served in the armed services at least the past seven years. Petraeus, who retired from the military in 2011, would need congressional approval in order to be appointed to the position.
Petraeus, 64, has indicated his willingness to accept the role.
"I've been in a position before where a president has turned to me in the Oval Office in a difficult moment and ... said 'I'm asking you as your president and commander-in-chief to take command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan,'" Petraeus said.
"The only response can be: 'Yes, Mr. President'," he added.
Petraeus has often criticized the Obama administration's handling of foreign security affairs, urging a firmer stance against Iran and the Syrian government. He has also attacked Trump in the past. During the president-elect's campaign, Petraeus criticized Trump's rhetoric, which he perceived as hateful toward Muslims and "toxic."
Trump has begun the process of naming the individuals who will fill the top posts in his administration come January. The list, while controversial, includes both allies and foes. Trump announced Wednesday that Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, a former vocal critic of his, would serve as his ambassador the U.N.
Aside from defense secretary, Petraeus could serve in a national security role.
Earlier this week, Trump met with retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who has previously expressed concerns about the security threat posed by Iran. The president-elect called Mattis "impressive."