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Former CIA director speaks at Stevenson 


John Brennan emphasized the importance of public service to SU students, staff and faculty

By Connor Lutts
Academics Editor

People who are interested in cyber-security or international affairs need to give back to the United States, former CIA Director John Brennan told an audience of about 40 people this week at Stevenson University. 

“It is one of the things that I think is critically important to be able to give back to this country,” Brennan said Tuesday in Garrison Hall North. 

Brennan was on campus to preview his speech that night at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore as part of Stevenson’s Baltimore Speaker Series. He was introduced by Stevenson University President Elliot Hirshman. 

“The world is an opportunity for you to explore,” Brennan told the gathered students, staff and faculty. He noted that students from several disciplines could help with national security. 

Brennan never thought he would become a CIA Director for the White House under two presidents — Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. 

Brennan served 25 years at the CIA and now currently works at NBC and MSNBC as a senior national security analyst and intelligence analyst.  

Brennan’s talk on campus hit on various topics, including Russia’s war on Ukraine, Chinese influence around the world and former President Donald Trump’s confiscation of classified and top-secret documents. 

Brennan said “Ukraine is a particular worry” because a speculation that Putin is threatening to possibly use tactical nuclear weapons and is worried because his war money is dwindling. 

Putin “only listens to those who are ultra-nationalists,” Brennan said. 

Putin claimed the attack was necessary to protect people in two parts of eastern Ukraine. These regions are controlled by separatist groups. The groups want their regions to break away from Ukraine. Before invading the country, Putin recognized the two regions as independent republics. Other countries have not.”  

Brennan also said how dangerous China’s president Xi Jinping is.

China’s president, Xi Jinping has been chosen for a third five-year term and “has made no secret of his interest to displace the United States” as the world’s most influential country. 

Brennan was disgusted with the handling of the classified documents President Trump moved from the White House to Mar-a-Lago without the government’s permission. 

Stevenson Student Body President Ruben Amaya said he was impressed by Brennan’s speech. 

“I thought it was very informative how he delivered those responses,” Amaya said. 

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Former CIA director speaks at Stevenson