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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 NunesNSA places former GOP political operative in top lawyer position after Pentagon chief's reported order CIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Bill Belichick turns down Medal of Freedom from Trump MORE (R-Calif.) and a loyalist to President TrumpDonald TrumpIran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries Pardon-seekers have paid Trump allies tens of thousands to lobby president: NYT 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 EsperWatch Out: Progressives are eyeing the last slice of the budget Biden needs to fill the leadership gaps on Day One US meets troops reduction goal in Afghanistan, Iraq 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 BidenFear of insider attack prompts additional FBI screening of National Guard troops: AP Iran convicts American businessman on spying charge: report DC, state capitals see few issues, heavy security amid protest worries 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 GrenellEdward Snowden, the media, and the Espionage Act Kentucky governor calls vandalism to McConnell's home 'unacceptable' Pelosi's, McConnell's homes vandalized as K stimulus check bill fails to pass 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.