"We're going to come after you": Kash Patel pledges revenge if Trump wins again

“We’re going to come after you, whether it’s criminally or civilly. We’ll figure that out," Patel said.

Published July 8, 2024 12:44PM (EDT)

Former Chief of Staff to the Department of Defense Kash Patel speaks during a campaign rally at Minden-Tahoe Airport on October 08, 2022 in Minden, Nevada. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Former Chief of Staff to the Department of Defense Kash Patel speaks during a campaign rally at Minden-Tahoe Airport on October 08, 2022 in Minden, Nevada. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Threats of political revenge are commonplace among Donald Trump and his supporters. Now a former official in the Trump administration is threatening to retaliate against those who challenged Trump's 2020 election claims, the Associated Press reported.

”We’re going to come after the people in the media who lied about American citizens who helped Joe Biden rig presidential elections,” Patel said in a recent interview with Steve Bannon, referring to the 2020 presidential election. “We’re going to come after you, whether it’s criminally or civilly. We’ll figure that out. But yeah, we’re putting you all on notice.”

Patel's zeal for Trump landed him in the administration's National Security Council, and he served briefly as chief of staff to acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller. In his final months in office, Trump considered installing Patel as the deputy director at either the FBI or CIA to strengthen his control of the intelligence committee, but was forced to scotch the plan after CIA Director Gina Aspel and Attorney General Bill Barr threatened to resign.

“Patel had virtually no experience that would qualify him to serve at the highest level of the world’s preeminent law enforcement agency,” Barr wrote in his memoir.

If Trump wins a second term, Patel will have another chance to realize his plans to "dramatically" limit the FBI's authority, curtail the Justice Department's Civil Division and jettison a Pentagon office that evaluates long-term trends and risks, all under the guise of fighting the "deep state." He appears to be doing everything in his power to make sure that happens, touting Trump at rallies and on radio shows as "our juggernaut of justice" and serving as a national security advisor for the former president, getting more than $300,000 from his leadership PAC since the start of last year for his troubles.

Patel may be loyal to Trump, but he has also used his proximity to build his own fame and wealth, emblazoning merchandise with his trademarked "K$H" heraldry, promoting a variety of goods marketed towards Trump supporters that included a COVID-19 vaccine "detoxification system" and publishing two children's books that lionize Trump. In one of them, Patel, adapted as a wizard called the "Distinguished Discoverer," exposes a plot by a thinly-veiled Hillary Clinton against "King Donald." Records show that Patel has made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from his business with Trump-related entities.

Patel appears to be enjoying his newfound wealth and connections, with social media posts showing him attending VIP sporting events like the Super Bowl, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup and a UFC fight. He has also channeled his money to more overtly political enterprises, such as the pockets of two ex-FBI agents who accused the bureau of discrimination after their security clearances were revoked over their views of the Jan. 6 insurrection. But one CIA expert says that his profiting off Trumpworld could present a potential conflict in a second Trump administration.

“Trump wants an echo chamber and he’ll get that in Kash Patel,” said Douglas London, a retired CIA officer. “I do not see Kash Patel saying, ‘Mr. President, if you do this, this bad thing’s going to happen.’”


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