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Ex-Nunes aide linked to Biden conspiracy theories will lead Pentagon transition

Ex-Nunes aide linked to Biden conspiracy theories will lead Pentagon transition
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A former congressional aide who rose to prominence helping House Republicans attempt to discredit the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia will lead the Pentagon’s transition to the next administration, the Defense Department confirmed Tuesday.

Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Stefanik shake-up jump-starts early jockeying for committee posts McCarthy unveils House GOP task forces, chairs MORE (R-Calif.) and a loyalist to President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE, will be the “touchpoint” for acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and ensure he “has insight into what’s going on and to make sure that the transition is successful,” top Defense spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters.

CNN first reported on Patel’s new role.

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Patel has been in the Pentagon for two weeks, serving as chief of staff to Miller. He was installed days after Trump fired Mark EsperMark EsperOvernight Defense: Former Navy secretary reportedly spent .4M on travel | Ex-Pentagon chief Miller to testify on Jan. 6 Capitol attack | Austin to deliver West Point commencement speech Trump's Navy secretary spent over M on travel during pandemic: report Court declines to dismiss Amazon challenge against JEDI decision MORE as Defense secretary. Esper’s former chief of staff Jen Stewart resigned a day after he left.

When working for Nunes, Patel was linked to efforts to spread conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas UN secretary general 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli strike on high rise that housed media outlets Nation's largest nurses union condemns new CDC guidance on masks MORE, according to evidence uncovered by the House impeachment inquiry.

Before becoming Miller’s chief of staff, Patel served as senior director for counterterrorism for Trump’s National Security Council. He also worked in the office of former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard GrenellRichard GrenellGrenell still interested in California recall bid Cleveland businessman jumps into Ohio Senate race: Trump 'victories' need to be protected Tanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief MORE.

With the Government Services Administration on Monday formally acknowledging Biden's election win, Trump administration officials are now allowed to speak with the incoming Biden team and coordinate a changeover.

Tom Muir, the director of Washington Headquarters Services, has taken on the role as director of the Defense Department transition task force, he told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday. He will be in charge of providing office space, communications and access to information for the incoming administration.

Muir said that the head of Biden's team reached out to him the night prior and the two had their first meeting Tuesday morning via teleconference.