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Who is Kash Patel? Donald Trump’s security adviser who may get a job at the FBI or CIA

Who is Kash Patel? Donald Trump’s security adviser who may get a job at the FBI or CIA
Who is Kash Patel? Donald Trump’s security adviser who may get a job at the FBI or CIA

Kash Patel, a national security adviser and prominent figure in Donald Trump’s political circle, is expected to take on a key role in the federal government if former President Donald Trump wins a second term.

Patel, 44, sits on the board of Trump Media and Technology Group, which owns the social media platform Truth Social. He had a consulting contract with the company that paid him $120,000 a year. In addition, Trump’s Leadership PAC paid Patel more than $300,000 since early last year to serve as Trump’s national security adviser, according to campaign finance filings and public records from Truth Social.

In an interview with Steve Bannon in December, Patel said, “We’re going to go after the people in the media who lied about American citizens helping Joe Biden rig the presidential election. We’re going to go after you, whether criminally or civilly. We’re going to find out. But yes, we’re warning you all.”

Patel has expressed ambitions for a role in a possible second Trump administration. Despite his lack of qualifications, Trump had considered Patel for high-level positions at the FBI or CIA to strengthen control over the intelligence agencies. Patel has made clear his intention to fire officials deemed disloyal to Trump and has considered prosecuting Trump’s political enemies and media personalities.

Patel is a campaign operative who praises the former president while building his own brand. He stands out from many other Trump advisers because of his extensive background. He often emphasizes his experience as a criminal defense attorney, federal prosecutor, senior House staffer and national security official. He promises to remove those disloyal to Trump and criticizes the very intelligence agencies he may oversee.

After graduating from Pace University Law School, Patel struggled to get jobs at prestigious law firms and instead became a public defender. He spent nearly nine years in local and federal courts in Miami before joining the Justice Department. Less than three years later, Patel was hired as a staff attorney for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is chaired by Republican Devin Nunes, a staunch Trump ally.

Nunes tapped Patel to lead the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Patel co-authored the “Nunes Memo,” a report that criticized the Justice Department’s process for obtaining a surveillance warrant against a former Trump campaign volunteer. Despite strong opposition from the Justice Department, the memo caught Trump’s attention, leading to Patel’s roles on the National Security Council and other key positions, including a brief stint as a top adviser to then-acting director of national intelligence and chief of staff to acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller.

Since Trump left office, Patel has remained active. Patel also founded Fight with Kash, an organization that funds defamation lawsuits and sells merchandise such as branded socks and playing cards. That organization has since evolved into the Kash Foundation, a nonprofit that supports whistleblowers, law enforcement and educational initiatives.

Patel has been vocal about transparency regarding the foundation’s finances, despite discrepancies in public records. While he claimed the foundation distributed nearly $100,000 in 2022, IRS reports suggest it gave away only about $55,000 to unidentified entities.

In addition to his organizing work, Patel is also a prolific writer. He published his memoir, Government Gangsters: The Deep State, the Truth, and the Battle for Our Democracy, and is the author of two children’s books praising Trump.

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