GOP lawmaker accuses Brennan of being member of Communist Party

Rep. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida attorney general scrutinizing Bloomberg paying fines for felons to vote Trump may meet with potential Supreme Court pick in Miami Florida governor unveils legislation targeting protesters in 'violent or disorderly' demonstrations MORE (R-Fla.) accused John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanJournalism or partisanship? The media's mistakes of 2016 continue in 2020 Comey on Clinton tweet: 'I regret only being involved in the 2016 election' Ex-CIA Director Brennan questioned for 8 hours in Durham review of Russia probe 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 TrumpBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power Two Louisville police officers shot amid Breonna Taylor grand jury protests 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.