Right-wing activist and media personality Kash Patel is set to tour the United States on behalf of Donald Trump after the former president announces his candidacy, according to an interview on former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast. Trump is expected to announce his campaign for the 2024 presidential race on Tuesday evening.
Patel previously served as chief of staff to the acting secretary of Defense and as a top aide for Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) on the House Intelligence Committee, and he has a history of pushing misinformation to further right-wing causes. Patel was reportedly almost installed as acting CIA director in the lead-up to the January 6 insurrection, as Trump deemed certain members of his administration insufficiently loyal in his effort to overturn the election. Patel appears to be a key source for the false claim that Trump attempted to deploy 20,000 National Guard troops to protect the U.S. Capitol prior to the attempted coup. He was also reportedly involved in feeding “negative information about Ukraine to President Donald Trump” ahead of his 2019 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump threatened to withhold aid to the country, resulting in his first impeachment.
Additionally, Patel has close ties to the QAnon conspiracy movement, which Trump has also fully embraced. Patel used QAnon to build the user base of Trump-branded social media site Truth Social; Nunes, his former boss, is the site’s CEO. He has also praised QAnon activists, and defended signing his book using a QAnon slogan.
Patel has drawn the scrutiny of at least two high-profile investigations as well. He was recently questioned by the grand jury in the Department of Justice’s case looking into Trump’s retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago club. (The DOJ reportedly offered Patel immunity for his testimony.) He has also appeared before the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.
Appearing on Bannon’s November 15 show, Patel said that Republicans in the midterms “failed” because candidates and their surrogates didn’t “hammer on kitchen table values” favored by Trump, such as “national security, the border, the economy, Iran, China, Russia, and taking on the global anarchists that are going around the world.” Patel added that “we have to do a better job of hammering that through. And that's going to be my job going forward as I travel the country on behalf of President Trump for his candidacy.”