- The Indian American, who is among several subpoenaed by the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6 insurrection, interviewed his former boss for Epoch TV.
Kashyap ‘Kash’ Pramod Patel, a former intelligence and defense official for the Trump administration, believes former President Donald Trump is “gearing up” for a presidential run in 2024. The Indian American was speaking to Breitbart News earlier this week before his interview with his former boss aired on Epoch TV, where the two discussed the state of the country, the threat from communist China, the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan, and the investigation by special counsel John Durham.
Patel hosts a weekly segment called Kash’s Corner on the video streaming platform.
Patel is among several Trump loyalists subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 Investigating Committee. He was serving as Chief of Staff to Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller during the attack on the Hill after Trump appointed him to replace Mark T. Esper as the top Pentagon official. In that role, he was responsible for leading the secretary’s mission at the department, including his executive staff and providing counsel to the secretary on all matters concerning the department’s operations.
It has been widely reported that Patel was in constant contact with former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on the day of the riots. He was also involved “in discussions among senior Pentagon officials before and during the attack regarding security at the Capitol,” The New York Times reported, citing documents provided by the Defense Department.
A day after the attack, Patel had issued a statement denying Trump’s reluctance to deploy the National Guard to the Capitol on Jan. 6. Patel said he spoke “multiple times this week about the request for National Guard personnel in D.C. During these conversations, the president conveyed to the acting secretary that he should take any necessary steps to support civilian law enforcement requests in securing the Capitol and federal buildings.”
As expected Patel’s lengthy interview with Trump did not mention the Jan. 6 attacks or the investigation surrounding it or the potential legal troubles the former president could face.
At the onset, Trump noted that this is the “saddest” and “most embarrassing” period he’s ever seen for the country. “We had everything so good — the borders, the relationships with other countries, and the trade deals,” Trump told Patel. This is also the “most embarrassing time,” he said, with inflation and the withdrawal from Afghanistan. “Everything’s a disaster.”
Trump said the first thing that has to be done is to seal the U.S.’s southern border and to finish building the wall, and stop the illicit narcotics flow. He talked about how, unlike the Biden administration, he would have kept Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, “not only because the U.S. poured billions of dollars into it, but also because it was geographically close to where China is building its nuclear arsenal.”
Noting that U.S. relations with China “got to be reset,” Trump said the country is “now going to be on a rampage,” adding that he thinks “after the Olympics, bad things will happen with respect to Taiwan.”
When asked about special counsel John Durham’s investigation, the former president said he was confident Durham would “fully expose” the Russian collusion investigation. Durham was appointed as special counsel by Trump administration Attorney General Bill Barr in October 2020. He is tasked with investigating whether the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe, code-named “Crossfire Hurricane,” was opened and conducted legally.
“These are bad people,” Trump told Patel. “So, I hope John Durham, for the good of the country, comes up with everything that you know took place, and that everybody knows took place, because it has been exposed.”
According to The Daily News, “Trump has long denied any illegal conspiracy with Russia in his 2016 campaign, insisting that the allegations were trumped up by his political enemies. Likewise, Democrats claim that Durham’s probe is a political hatchet job.”
Patel, “who flew largely beneath the radar during the Trump administration,” rose from an obscure Hill staffer to become one of the most powerful players in the national security apparatus.
He played “a very large role” in Nunes’ attempt to undermine the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Ignatius says. Patel flew to England in the summer of 2108, where he tried unsuccessfully to meet with Christopher Steele, the author of the Steele dossier that purported to detail links between the Trump campaign and Russia. Patel was a primary author of a 2018 memo, released by Nunes over the objections of the FBI, that accused federal investigators of bias against Trump and his team.
Before his Pentagon appointment, Patel served as the deputy assistant to the president and senior director for Counterterrorism (CT) at the National Security Council (NSC). He also served as principal deputy to the Acting Director of National Intelligence, “where he oversaw the operations of all 17 intelligence community agencies and provided the president’s daily briefing,” per his Department of Defense profile.
Before joining the NSC, Patel served as the National Security Advisor and Senior Counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), which he joined following his tenure as a terrorism prosecutor at the Department of Justice (DOJ). He also served as the DOJ Liaison Officer to Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), “working with our nation’s most prestigious counterterrorism units to conduct collaborative global targeting operations against high-value terrorism targets,” his DOD profile says.
Patel began his career as a public defender, trying scores of complex cases ranging from murder to narco-trafficking, to complex financial crimes in jury trials in state and federal courts. A native of New York, Patel completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Richmond before returning to New York to earn his law degree, along with a Certificate in International Law from University College London Faculty of Laws in the United Kingdom.