This morning on NBC's Meet the Press, Andrea Mitchell revealed that the Petraeus affair would not have been public had it not been for a whistleblower who approached Republican House majority leader Eric Cantor.
"[Authorities] have pretty much shut down any idea that there was any kind of security or national security leaks," Mitchell revealed on the Sunday show. "So, this is not a criminal matter."
Mitchell continued: "And it would have rested there had not, and this is what is new in the last twenty-four hours, had not it come to the attention from an FBI whistleblower to a member of Congress, who then reported to Eric Cantor, the Republican leader, who then said to the FBI, you have to take this further."
According to the MSNBC host, "They were not at that stage going to the White House with it. And there have been a lot of questions raised, why did it first come to the attention of the head of national intelligence on Tuesday at five o’clock on Election Day? Why did it not come to the White House’s attention until the next day, Wednesday."
As the New York Times reported, "Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, said Saturday an F.B.I. employee whom his staff described as a whistle-blower told him about Mr. Petraeus’s affair and a possible security breach in late October, which was after the investigation had begun."
“I was contacted by an F.B.I. employee concerned that sensitive, classified information may have been compromised and made certain Director Mueller was aware of these serious allegations and the potential risk to our national security,” Mr. Cantor said in a statement.
Mr. Cantor talked to the person after being told by Representative Dave Reichert, Republican of Washington, that a whistle-blower wanted to speak to someone in the Congressional leadership about a national security concern. On Oct. 31, his chief of staff, Steve Stombres, called the F.B.I. to tell them about the call.
Former FBI and White House officials have told me that standard procedure for such a high-level investigation (such as this one, into a CIA director) would require the White House to be informed early on in the process.