New Acting DNI’s top advisor is Russian Interference Denier
This keeps getting worse. Trump is purging our intelligence agencies of veteran staffers who are sounding the alarm about Russian attempts to hack our elections – and he’s replacing them with incompetent yes-men conspiracy kooks pushing the fake story that it was Ukraine that attacked our elections in 2016 and not Russia. I feel we are fighting a war now to preserve our democracy and this is how wars are lost – when the commanders at the top refuse to believe sound intelligence and listen to quacks instead.
Kash Patel, a former top National Security Council official who also played a key role as a Hill staffer in helping Republicans discredit the Russia probe, is now a senior adviser for new acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, according to four people familiar with the matter.
It’s not clear what exact role Patel is playing in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence community. He started at ODNI on Thursday, according to an administration official.
Patel, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, joined the National Security Council’s International Organizations and Alliances directorate last February and was promoted to a senior counterterrorism role at the NSC in mid-summer.
He had previously worked as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)’s top staffer on the House Intelligence Committee and was the lead author of a report questioning the conduct of FBI and DOJ officials investigating Russia’s election interference. Republicans later used the report to bolster arguments that the probe was a plot to take down President Donald Trump.
Grenell, who has not served in any U.S. intelligence agency and will also continue as the U.S. ambassador to Germany, will not require Senate confirmation to serve as acting director. Nor will Patel in his new role.
Actually, this could be even more sinister than it first appears. Check out this post from @Pet_Proletariat from October. It highlights a NYT article about Patel titled, “White House Aides Feared That Trump Had Another Ukraine Back Channel.” Yes, Patel has actually been suspected of establishing a back channel to Ukraine similar to (but separate from) Rudy Giuliani’s. Do we now have an in-plain-sight mole inserted at the highest levels of our intelligence agencies? It sounds crazy to even ask this, but in light of the NYT reporting it is a real and legitimate question.
And there’s this post from @dragonfly9 from August, 2018, that features an Atlantic article about Nunes’s attempts to discredit the Russia investigation. Patel was Nunes’s aid at the time. From the article:
Last summer, two of Nunes’s staffers, Kash Patel and Doug Presley, traveled to London — without the knowledge of the U.S. Embassy or British government — in search of Steele, whose lawyer denied the staffers access to his client.
Just like Giuliani, Patel was helping run a shadow investigation in the service of Trump.
@dragonfly9 also alerted us that Patel is suing Politico for exposing his role in trying to discredit the Russia investigation. He has an uphill battle in that suit since Politico’s reporting was backed up by Congressional testimony from Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. I hope that case gets a lot of exposure because it will draw attention to Patel’s true colors.