Former CIA chief General David Petraeus was urged to run for the US presidency by one of Rupert Murdoch's American lieutenants, it has emerged.
It was also revealed that Petraeus, who resigned last month after having an affair with his biographer, was told that the media tycoon would bankroll his campaign.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Petraeus reportedly declined the offer to protect his personal life.
General Petraeus learnt, while commanding US forces in Afghanistan last year, that the chairman of Murdoch's Fox television network, Roger Ailes, wanted him to challenge Barack Obama.
Ailes, a Republican powerbroker who worked for Richard Nixon, told Petraeus he should reject the job of CIA director, and campaign for president.
"I thought the Republican field needed to be shaken up and Petraeus might be a good candidate," Ailes told Bob Woodward, the veteran Washington Post reporter, who disclosed news of the talks.
Ailes passed his message to General Petraeus via an emissary sent to interview him in Kabul 18 months ago for Fox News, Murdoch's American news channel beloved by US conservatives, the paper said.
According to the report, Petraeus politely declined and said he needed to focus on his home life after commanding troops at war.
"It's never going to happen. My wife would divorce me. And I love my wife," he reportedly said. (ANI)