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6.21.2012

ambassador nominee withdraws after racy emails surface

Oh, scandal. This week, President Obama's choice to be ambassador to Iraq withdrew from consideration for the post after a series of emails came to light detailing an improper relationship with a journalist during a previous tour in Baghdad: Obama pick for Iraq ambassador withdraws after racy emails.

Brett McGurk and Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon -- who are now married -- reportedly carried on an extramarital affair while both were in Baghdad in 2008. The proof: some pretty racy emails that got leaked and hit the web last week. Chon has since resigned from the Wall Street Journal:
A Wall Street Journal reporter who had an affair with an American official she was covering in Iraq resigned from the newspaper Tuesday, a week after racy e-mails disclosing the relationship surfaced.

The newspaper said the reporter also shared “certain unpublished news articles” with the official in violation of company policy.

Gina Chon, who had covered Iraq for the Journal, quit under pressure after the disclosure of her relationship with Brett McGurk while both lived in Baghdad in 2008. McGurk, who was on the National Security Council staff during the Bush administration, is President Obama’s nominee to be ambassador to Iraq.

McGurk and Chon apparently were married to others at the time that they struck up a relationship; they obtained divorces and recently married.
What else is there to say? Really bad judgement, all around. I don't think McGurk was looking forward to sitting through confirmation hearings talking about emails and "blue balls." Best thing was probably to clear out, for the sake of everyone involved. More here: Facing Confirmation Fight, Nominee as Ambassador to Iraq Withdraws.