The Globe had the opportunity to speak with Kash Patel who served as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council. In that capacity, Patel oversaw the execution of several of former President Donald J. Trump’s top priorities, including eliminating ISIS and Al-Qa’ida leadership such as al-Baghdadi and Qasem al-Rimi, and the safe repatriation of numerous American hostages. Patel 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.
Patel currently serves as a Senior Advisor of National Security and Defense for President Trump, who just clinched the Iowa caucus and is expected to be the 2024 GOP nominee for President of the United States.
In our 20 minute interview, Patel provided his insight and national security expertise at a time of two world wars, escalating tensions in the Middle East, the crisis at the U.S. Southern Border, and warns that we are “on the brink of World War III” as the Biden Administration militarily engages with Iran’s Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.
Patel believes that national security will be as important as the economy in the November election.
Let’s first review the Iowa Caucus and your reaction to Trump receiving over 50% of the vote, with Desantis and Haley trailing a distant second and third, respectively.
President Trump has been out there putting his America First agenda on display for the world to see. This is the first chance for me to formally respond and it was a thumping. He didn’t kinda win. He doubled up on everyone behind him. When President Trump took the stage last night, he talked about things that I think are not necessarily at the top of an election cycle: the importance of national security, the border, taking on Iran, shutting down China, the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal.
I think in this unique setting with two world wars going on, it’s going to be one of those top-tier issues in the presidential election cycle. Normally, when the economy would be up there, which it is, this one is also up there. But, I think the result of the Iowa caucuses is people seeing how effective Donald Trump’s policies were on national security.
We see what is happening in the Red Sea and how that could impact energy costs and national security. Yesterday, the Houthis attacked an American carrier. In response, the Biden administration hit 60 targets at 28 locations. Today, Shell suspended their operations Red Sea. How do these actions directly impact Americans?
It’s a huge, direct impact on Americans. Thirteen percent of the world’s trade transits through the Red Sea every day. When you have Shell and Maersk shutting down operations for oil and cargo shipping around the world, that impacts the world’s trade, not just America, and people will start seeing that soon. To me, the ongoing situation in the Red Sea is tragic.
President Biden refuses to recognize the Houthis as a terrorist organization, which is what they are. The Houthi’s are Iran’s proxy force and Biden has given $6,000,000,000 to Iran who is now flush with cash.
What’s worse is Biden and his Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin are literally bedridden and unable to defend this nation in a time of need. Instead, what do they do? They weaponize the defense of this country, launch an operation that never should have been launched, and now, two US Navy Special Warfare operators are dead, and no one in the media is talking about that.
We have had a loss of life, a casualty during a conflict of war, and the media has essentially given Joe Biden a pass.
Putting aside the 130-plus rocket attacks there have been on US military installations in the last 90 days, putting aside the attacks in the Red Sea to cargo vessels and US carriers, United States military members are dead because of Joe Biden and Lloyd Austin’s reckless national security policy, and Americans are paying attention. The media is not, but America is.It is no coincidence that Austin going down, lying to the chain of command, and breaking the National Command Authority has now led us to this disastrous situation in the Red Sea. He is still not back at the Pentagon, he has been sidelined for three weeks, and the mainstream media and the Biden administration will have us believe that our defense is completely intact after the deaths of two US Navy Special Warfare operators.
Austin and Biden breaking the National Command Authority has led to the direct degradation of national security brought us to the brink of World War III.
I just think it’s worth highlighting that if the Trump administration had a Secretary of Defense take a leave of absence, lie to the chain of command, and got every senior staff from the DOD to withhold that information from the White House, the mainstream media would have had a cataclysmic uproar, and they’re giving this a pass because it’s Biden and Austin.
Here’s the thing about the DOD. 100 percent of the time we are to be ready 100 percent of the time, not 97 percent of the time. And his Number Two, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, who could adapt the National Command Authority sequencing, wasn’t even informed that he was in the hospital for three days! I mean, it is just an outrageous abdication of constitutional duty when it comes to the Number One military official in our chain of command.
Biden refuses to designate the Houthis as a terrorist organization. That’s a change from the time when president Trump was in office, correct?
Absolutely. When I ran President Trump’s counterterrorism mission, we designated the Houthis as a terrorist organization because that’s what they are. They are Iran’s mercenary force in Yemen to do one thing: fight American interests. We suffocated them with sanctions economically. We targeted them kinetically with our special forces operations to take out their senior cadre of terrorist leadership because we knew, and know, that Iran is the largest state sponsor of terror. When Joe Biden got into office, literally one month into his tenure, he delisted the Houthis, and that precludes the ability to target, strike, collect against them, and sanction them. The result is that the Houthis are now responsible for the deaths of American service members and everything going on in the Red Sea.
With these series of U.S strikes against the Houthis, would you say that we’re entering a potential 3rd war under the Biden administration, or are we in it?
We are already there. I mean, I may have a background that leads to a more military-focused lens, but when U.S. service members die in a theater of war, at the behest of a terrorist, we are in that fight and that’s exactly what happened here. You cannot retroactively go back and strike your way to a headline like the Biden administration is trying to do and somehow say we are “defeating the enemy.” We are on defense. Iran is flush with cash. They now have nuclear grade weapons material, they are buying delivery systems from the CCP and Russia, they are growing as the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, and all of that is happening on Joe Biden’s watch, because we are already in a war in that region.
Can American’s also expect higher gas prices due to this ongoing escalation in the Middle East? What can American’s expect or prepare for?
Look, I think we’re gonna get higher gas prices no matter what because our allies, like the Saudis and others, are now doing business with folks like Iran, Russia, and China, and they’ve already stated on the world stage that Joe Biden is not a priority.
So, gas is going up no matter what. This won’t help, but I think the more direct and immediate impact is to our national security. These countries have seeded foreign terrorists through our southern border because Biden has left it open. These countries have now coordinated access to the international banking system to purchase weapon systems to utilize against the United States. I mean, you have to think about this. The Houthis have launched 135 missile strikes. That’s a lot of weaponry. They didn’t just get it overnight, they’ve been collecting it for the last 90 days after Joe Biden unfroze the $6,000,000,000 to Iran.
The question and the scary thought is, what are they doing with the other money? What else are they buying and how much more weapons grade nuclear material are they making?
That is the ultimate deterrent that Donald Trump protected us against when it came to Iran. Iran never got a nuclear weapon. With Joe Biden, they’re well on their way.
You mentioned the Southern Border. The border has been illegally breached by over 10 million foreign nationals since President Biden took office. We often hear how many illegal aliens have been captured, and often times released, but I think the question should be, how many haven’t we captured and how many have found their way into our interior, undetected, and specifically, how many terrorists have illegally crossed the border without interception by the federal government?
That is the question. Look, when you have Secretary Mayorkas testify before Congress 14 times in three years that the border is sealed, you know he’s lying.
To get a glimpse into your question, FBI Director Chris Ray has testified before Congress, in the last 60 days, that at least two dozen, known foreign terrorists have illegally entered through our southern border and the FBI and DHS does not know where they are today. That was their testimony.
That is the amount they’re admitting to us..out of 10 plus million. The number is way higher because our enemies…and it’s all interrelated, it’s not a coincidence… Iran–while they are striking America and our allies and have their mercenary forces going to war in Israel– is utilizing the open border, as is Russia and China, to seed illegal immigrants into this country, specifically criminals and terrorists. Then they disappear quite literally into our communities because our law enforcement priorities under the Biden administration do not permit us to chase them down and kick them out of this country.
So, my biggest national security fear, domestically, is now the lying and wait situation that we had pre-911 when illegal terrorists were coming into our country. We now have a repeat of that situation.
So, if the FBI and DHS is not aware of how many terrorists can be accounted for in this country due to the porous border, should the American people expect another terrorist attack? If President Trump wins in 2024, how does he swiftly and effectively handle this increasing threat to national security?
What the American public can expect is the continuation of our enemies offensive operations in America through our southern border. Tehran, Russia and China and others are going to continue with the drug cartels to pour in Chinese fentanyl, to pour in illegal immigrants, and they are already coming in per the admission of Joe Biden’s FBI director and the DHS Secretary, and then they’re being lost.
The fault is not on law enforcement or the CBP. They are not empowered under this administration to go out there and make arrests, and detain illegal immigrants, and send them back to their country of origin. That fault lays with Joe Biden.
The tragic result of all of this is that while I hope there is not an attack in the United States of America, hope is not a national security strategy.
When Donald Trump returns to office, I think one of the ways he countermands and reverses these disastrous national security policies, is what he said publicly.
He’s going to implement the largest deportation in US history. He’s going to empower DHS and law enforcement to go out to the communities and track down these criminals and terrorists and remove them from the United States of America. He’s going to force the Mexican government to hold the drug cartels at bay and stop the human trafficking. He’s going to complete the border wall. He’s going to do all these things as soon as he gets into office.
So, I think there will be a sweeping mandate when President Trump wins in November that takes all these actions on, and we will try to plug the gaps of the Biden failures as best we can. I do believe that once we unleash law enforcement and intelligence and the defense apparatus in this country, we can go out and find out all of the illegal terrorists that cross into our community and arrest them.
Do you expect legal challenges that might hamstring or delay these operations? Operations that might provoke a response from the press and his democratic rivals when they referred to Trump’s efforts during the pandemic as a “Muslim ban?”
When you look at those things retroactively, we now know that that was a false label. It was never a Muslim ban. The measures we took were taken in the defense of this country. Donald Trump has always taken those actions when it comes to national security. Will there be challenges? Sure. I’m sure there will be, but I think Donald Trump now has a track record where his actions will be grounded in the constitution.
When we briefed him on COVID origins, he issued the travel ban to China. He was called a racist, but then a couple of months later, 140 other nations did the exact same thing. None of those measures were ever proven illegal. So while the media will try to spin it as such, I think Donald Trump has a great team around him, especially in the national security defense arena, and they will craft processes that are lawful and constitutional to implement the policy that Donald Trump has put out.
Let’s focus on Nevada from a national security standpoint. You have referred to Nevada as a border state, so let’s expound on that. Explain why Nevadans should be severely concerned about our southern border.
We are being directly impacted by the illegal criminals coming into this nation. Because of our geographic location, we are literally on the front line. I mean, months ago we had a legal immigrant come here and kill two people in Las Vegas. That’s just the most recent example that I can think of. We see and feel it every day. Crime has exploded in places like my home here in Las Vegas and other major metropolitan areas. Nevadans are now being supplanted when it comes to job opportunities, by hiring immigrants that are coming into our country and being prioritized by the Biden administration over Americans.
To me, it’s consequential. People forget that Nevada, after New Hampshire, is the next big primary. It’s not South Carolina. It is Iowa, New Hampshire, and then Nevada. The caucus is coming up on February 8th and I think Nevadans are going to have an opportunity, like Iowans, to vote and display the type of leadership they want our country to take in this Republican primary. I think you’re going to see similar results here based on national security, crime, policies that they want from a Trump administration.
Do you anticipate playing an active role role in the Trump administration?
Oh, I don’t know. Serving for 16 years was awesome. Being in the Trump administration, at the levels I was at, was an amazing experience and privilege. Right now, my mission is getting Donald Trump elected. If and when there’s a conversation after November, we’ll take that up then.
- After Primary ‘Glitch’, Think Tank Calls for Bipartisan Changes To Nevada Election Laws - February 23, 2024
- Study: Nevada Ranks Second In Nation for Business - February 22, 2024
- Nevada SOS Issues Apology for ‘Glitch’ in Presidential Primary - February 22, 2024