Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said Thursday that Moscow's meddling in last year's election "was in many ways a direct attack by Russia on the United States."
Moscow tried to "deliberately interfere with our ability to conduct a free election," Panetta, who also served as defense secretary under former President Barack Obama, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.
"To have a foreign adversary do that, and do it directly in a way that truly interfered with the ability of the American people to exercise their right to vote, is unheard.
"It is something that I think directly challenges our national security."
Panetta said that, in light of reports that President Donald Trump was hiring private counsel, "the best approach would be not to go to war against these investigations."
He called on the administration to "cooperate fully with them and allow the president to deal with other issues that relate to the presidency."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.