GOP lawmaker accuses Brennan of being member of Communist Party

Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisGov. DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Sanders, Dems zero in on Super Tuesday Florida lawmakers pass bill requiring parental consent for abortions, governor expected to sign MORE (R-Fla.) accused John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanEx-CIA chief calls Trump intel shakeup a 'virtual decapitation' of the intelligence community DOJ attorney looking into whether CIA withheld info during start of Russia probe: NYT Federal prosecutor looking into Brennan's role in Russian interference findings: report MORE on Monday of having been a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War, saying that the former CIA director lacks the credibility to discuss President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE's meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

"John Brennan was a disaster as CIA director. He was a disaster as the counterterrorism official. He was a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War," DeSantis said on Fox News.

"So this is not exactly the guy I would listen to about Russia," he added.

DeSantis's comments came hours after Trump sat down with Putin in Helsinki for a highly anticipated summit.

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In a joint press conference with the Russian president after the summit, Trump decried the special counsel probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election as "ridiculous" and insisted that there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow.

While Trump has repeatedly claimed that the special counsel investigation is a "witch hunt," his remarks on Monday were particularly unusual because they came just three days after 12 Russian officials were indicted on charges of hacking Democratic servers during the 2016 election.

Brennan tore into Trump after the remarks, writing on Twitter that the president's comments were "nothing short of treasonous" and insisting that Trump is "wholly in the pocket of Putin."

DeSantis's allegation that Brennan was a member of the Communist Party hinges on the former CIA director's admission that he voted for the Communist Party's presidential candidate, Gus Hall, in 1976

As Brennan tells it, he was in college at the time and the vote was his way of "signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change." He has said that he was forthcoming about his vote when he entered the CIA and has asserted that he was never a member of the Communist Party.