[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/30/art.lieberman.gi.jpg caption="Lieberman is a backer of McCain."](CNN) - Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-Independent who is a strong supporter of Republican John McCain's White House bid, suggested Sunday the United States will likely face a terrorist attack in 2009.
The controversial comments followed remarks by top John McCain adviser Charlie Black late last week that a terrorist attack leading up the the general election would probably help the Arizona senator's White House hopes.
"Our enemies will test the new president early," Lieberman told CBS Sunday. "Remember that the truck bombing of the World Trade Center happened in the first year of the Clinton administration. 9/11 happened in the first year of the Bush administration."
McCain and his supporters have long argued the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is better-suited to handle the country's foreign policy challenges than Barack Obama.
Watch: Lieberman touts McCain
"[McCain] knows the world," Lieberman said. "He's been tested. He's ready to protect the security of the American people."
But Lieberman, who served as the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000, distanced himself from Black's contention that a terrorist attack would boost McCain's chances of winning the Oval Office.
"Sometimes even the best of them say things that are not what they intended to say," Lieberman said. "Certainly the implications there I know were not what Charlie intended. And he apologized for it. Senator McCain said he didn't agree. And, of course, I feel the same way.
Lieberman, who calls himself an "independent Democrat," endorsed McCain in early December.