Less than five years after winning a Pulitzer Prize for exposing surveillance abuses in U.S. intelligence agencies, Glenn Greenwald increasingly finds himself accused of being a stooge of Vladimir Putin.
The latest accusation comes from Claus Wilke, a Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas, who tweeted on Sunday that Greenwald was a “Russian asset.”
“Dmitri: FYI, Greenwald is a Russian asset. If you look at the people and positions he has supported in recent years, that’s pretty obvious,” Wilke tweeted to a fellow biologist who teaches at Stanford University.
The tweet no longer appears on Wilke’s Twitter feed. But Greenwald tweeted a screen shot of the post to his 945,000 followers.
Greenwald, a former attorney who gained worldwide fame for his reporting on controversial National Security Agency surveillance activities revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, has lately become an outsider in progressive circles for his open skepticism of allegations that the Trump Campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.
Last month New York magazine featured an interview with Greenwald detailing how the former Guardian journalist has been “excommunicated from the liberal salons that celebrated him in the Snowden era” and is no longer invited on certain television networks.
Some critics have gone further, openly suggesting that Greenwald is a patsy for the Russian government. The media website Greenwald co-founded in 2013, the Intercept, has also been accused of peddling Russian propaganda.
Greenwald has cited such claims as evidence that a "New McCarthyism" is taking hold in some Democratic circles. Other prominent progressives have echoed similar concerns.
“In the targeting of Trump, too many liberals have joined in fanning a neo-McCarthyite furor, working to discredit those who seek to deescalate U.S.-Russian tensions, and dismissing anyone expressing doubts about the charges of hacking or collusion as a Putin apologist,” Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, wrote in the Washington Post last year.
There is evidence that Greenwald and vanden Heuvel may be right.
Less than two weeks ago, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and U.S. House Rep. Adam Schiff sent a second letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressing “grave concerns” that the #ReleaseTheMemo campaign was being amplified by Russian bots and “Kremlin-affiliated” agents on social media.
Those concerns were unfounded, sources at Twitter later told the Daily Beast.
Wilke did not respond to requests for comment. University of Texas officials said the school does not monitor the opinions of faculty and supports academic freedom.
“Our faculty express political opinions on a wide variety of topics,” J.B. Bird, the university's director of media relations, told Intellectual Takeout.