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John Brennan

University of Texas - Austin

John O. Brennan is a Distinguished Scholar and Senior Advisor to the Intelligence Studies Project at the University of Texas-Austin. Brennan also serves as a Distinguished Fellow for Global Security for the Center on National Security at Fordham University.

Prior to both roles, Brennan served as the Director of The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from 2013 to 2017. His service and post-CIA career have been marred with controversies, including allegations of spying on political opponents, overseas clandestine operations, and incendiary comments towards conservatives and libertarians.

In 2014, the CIA was accused by California Senator Dianne Feinstein of illegally accessing the computers of Senate staffers investigating the use of “enhanced interrogation” against detainees. Brennan initially denied the allegations, stating that, “Nothing could be further from the truth.” Brennan was later forced to apologize when an Inspector General report found that Senate computers were in fact “hacked” by CIA officials.

Brennan has been accused of arming radical Islamists during the Syrian Civil War. As The American Conservative documents, The CIA—under Brennan’s direction—played a significant role in supplying deadly weapons to al-Qaeda affiliates in an attempt to topple the Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad.

In his final years as CIA director, Brennan played a prominent role in what later became known as “Russiagate.” During the 2016 general election, intelligence agencies attempted to determine whether or not then-presidential candidate Donald Trump coordinated with the Russian Government to hack and release sensitive emails from the Democratic National Committee. Special Counsel Robert Mueller later found that there was no evidence of any coordination between the Trump Campaign and the Russian Government.

While investigating Trump, John Brennan relied on allegations in what became known as the “Steele Dossier”— a series of salacious allegations and potentially compromising information against Donald Trump — compiled by British Intelligence agent Christopher Steele. The source for the dossier was later found to be a suspected Russian Spy, who likely exaggerated or falsified his information.

Despite agents flagging the information as false, the Steele Dossier was later used as the basis to obtain warrants to surveil members of the Trump campaign. Initially pushing to include the information, Brennan later lied under congressional oath, stating he did not include the Steele Dossier in intelligence briefings.

Declassified, handwritten notes from Brennan further show that he assisted in efforts to tie the Trump campaign to Russia to benefit the Hillary Clinton campaign. This is consistent with testimony accusing Brennan of suppressing intelligence that the Russian Government wanted Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 presidential election.

Brennan continued to publically attack President Trump after the 2016 election, accusing him of “treason” against the United States on behalf of Russia. Brennan admits that he has seen no evidence that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to win the 2016 election.

Following the Capital Hill riots, John Brennan has described libertarians as terrorists and white supremacists.


On his personal Twitter account, Brennan demands that conservatives need to publically recant their support of Donald Trump and admit that it was wrong to support the President of the United States.


In an interview with MSNBC, Brennan remarks that many conservatives make him “embarrassed to be a white man.”


Brennan has admitted in the past that he voted for the Communist Party in past elections. According to CNN, Brennan recounts that he admitted to voting for the Communist Party Candidate, Gus Hall, in the 1976 general election. Brennan is reported stating that voting for Hall was his way of “signaling his unhappiness of the system.”

As The Spectator documents, Gus Hall was a four-time presidential candidate and leader of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). Throughout his career, Hall defended atrocities committed by the Soviet Union while secretly receiving tens of millions of dollars from the Kremlin.

The Professor Watchlist Team reached out to the Intelligence Studies Project at the University of Texas for comment but has not received a response by the time of publication.


Parents and Students may contact the University of Texas-Austin at (512) 471-3434

Updated – August 26, 2021

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