Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said Thursday that Congress must investigate how the Democratic National Committee did not know about payments to Fusion GPS for an unsubstantiated Russian dossier on President Donald Trump.
"Knowing presidential campaigns, they're big operations and somehow the left hand may not know what the right hand is doing," Panetta, who also served as defense secretary under former President Barack Obama, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
"The committee is going to have to get into this, determine just exactly what happened, who knew what and when," he said.
CNN reported Thursday that John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, both denied to Congress that they knew about payments to Fusion for the dossier.
Panetta told Blitzer that, regardless, the identities of all those who paid the opposition-research firm for the information should be disclosed.
"It is important, at least to know, who was pulling the strings here in terms of the research.
"Whether it's on the Trump side of the campaign, and the connections with the Russians, or whether it's on the Clinton side of the campaign, you want to know who was making decisions that involve dealing with possible foreign individuals in trying to determine negative research on the opposing candidate," Panetta said.
"But in the end, the most important thing is to look at what the dossier says, and whether it's in any way verified.
"What we can't do here is lose sight of the fundamental objective of this investigation, which is to look at what the Russians did, how did they get about it — and what can we do to prevent it from happening again?"
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