- In an interview with an Indian news agency, he says that while the desi community cares about only “publicity and media,” the only thing he cares about is “mission,” which he puts “first every time.”
Kashyap “Kash” Patel has a bone to pick with Indian Americans. In an interview with Indo-Asian News Service, the Trump loyalist noted that instead of supporting him at a time when he’s “unfairly targeted by the justice department for the color of his skin,” the community has abandoned him. He feels “forsaken and vilified by Indian Americans,” he said, calling it “the height of hypocrisy” that they won’t support people like him —“first generation Indian Americans who have made it to somewhat the highest levels of the United States government — just because they disagree with you politically.”
He told the news agency that he has received hateful emails and death threats since his days from the time he led the congressional investigation of the Russia probe, but they “escalated” after he was summoned by the Jan. 6 committee. He mentioned receiving “hateful, spiteful, disgusting” messages from the Indian American community on “email, or messages on social media,” calling it “sad because these are supposed to be our brothers and sisters.”
Despite the hostility, he extended his support to “any Indian American and everyone looking to advance in government service or in other ways, in law enforcement, national defense, wherever I can.” However, “they take the opposite position,” he told the news agency, “because they have the fake news media to back them.” And while the Indian American community cares about only “publicity and media,” the only thing Patel cares about is “mission,” which he puts “first every time.”
Patel, the former Pentagon official and longtime House Intelligence Committee aide, is one of the staunchest critics of the FBI raid at the Florida home of former president Trump. He has been on every right-wing television and other broadcast media making the case for his former boss’s right to hold on to the documents, even as many political observers described his defense as convoluted. But what is increasingly becoming apparent is that not only Patel was himself a key figure in the events before and after the transfer of classified documents from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, but he has also become a fixture in Trump’s post-presidential affairs.
“The President and I talk all the time,” he told IANS. “I’m not going to reveal our private conversations, but he’s been pretty public about what his intentions are and how much he wants to fix the country,” Patel said when asked if Trump is planning to run again. “So I think you’ll see that an announcement will be coming in the next couple of months and then we’ll follow behind it.”
A look at Patel’s steady rise in the Trump administration shows how he came about from a mere staffer to an insider. It is also increasingly evident that Trump’s dependence on Patel has increased since the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill insurrection, and his election lies and now the transfer gate. Currently, Patel is a director of Trump Media and Technology Group, which runs Truth Social, headed by David Nunes, his former boss.
He has emerged as a key figure in Trump’s transfer gate saga. He has been on every right-wing television and other broadcast media making the case for his former boss’s right to hold on to the documents. In an April 2021 profile in The Washington Post, columnist David Ignatius described Patel as an “almost a ‘Zelig’ figure in Trump’s campaign against the deep state.”
He was named recently in an affidavit that the Department of Justice filed before a federal judge to secure a warrant to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago beach home for presidential documents that he had carried there with him from the White House in violation of the Presidential Records Act, which required him to turn them over to the National Archives.
The affidavit cites statements Patel made to Breitbart in early May. “I am aware of an article published in Breitbart…which states that Kash Patel…characterized as ‘misleading’ reports in other news organizations that NARA [National Archives and Records Administration] had found classified materials among records that FPOTUS provided to NARA from Mar-a-Lago,” an FBI special agent on the case wrote in the affidavit. “Patel alleged that such reports were misleading because FPOTUS had declassified the materials at issue.”
His naming was egregious, Patel told IANS, “because it coincided with the FBI informing his lawyers that the investigation into death threats against him was being closed even though there were some leads.” He said he had received these threats in the aftermath of him being subpoenaed by a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. “The only reason they do that is for political targeting, and intentionally jeopardizing my safety which is disgusting.”
As noted in the affidavit, months before the subpoenas or reach warrants were issued, Patel was publicly making claims that Trump had the unilateral right to declassify material as president.
On June 19, Trump designated Patel to be one of his official representatives to the National Archives. In an Aug. 11 podcast with conservative journalist John Solomon, Patel also disclosed that he had led an effort to obtain documents through the National Archives months before the FBI’s raid. He said he and Solomon both have “been on a mission” as “the president’s representatives to the National Archives” to prove Trump had declassified the documents seized by the FBI.
In several recent interviews, and in an episode of “Kash’s Corner” released on Aug. 14, he accused bureaucrats at the DOJ of blocking Trump’s attempt to declassify federal records. “The timing is interesting, that now all of a sudden there’s a National Archives issue related to this raid at Mar-a-Lago.” Patel has contended that among the seized files at Mar-a-Lago were documents connected to the FBI and DOJ’s investigation of contacts between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.