Retired Gen. David Petraeus said Sunday the most dangerous threat to the U.S. was not abroad, but narrow-mindedness within the country's borders.

"Arguably, the most important threat the United States faces is not Russia, Iran, North Korea or even Chinese competition or ISIS: it's parochialism here at home, and especially [Washington, D.C.], which is preventing us from resolving issues that could allow us to capitalize on extraordinary opportunities," Petraeus said on ABC's "This Week."

"We need to relearn the word of compromise, we need to take the volume down," he continued.

Petraeus added that the U.S. needed to "unite behind our Gold Star families," "not to drag them into partisan politics," after a week in which President Trump's dealings with grieving military families dominated the news cycle.

While the former CIA director praised the Trump administration's "superb" national security team, he contradicted the White House line that it was "highly inappropriate" to get into an debate with a four-star general.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders earlier this week made the comments in defense of chief of staff John Kelly, who falsely claimed that Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., — the congresswoman at the center of the deadly Niger ambush controversy — in 2015 took credit for securing funding for a new FBI field office rather than praising the heroism of two agents the building was named after.

"I think we're all fair game," Petraeus said, himself a retired four-star general who has faced his own share of controversies. "We in uniform protect the rights of others to criticize us, frankly."