Anthony Tata, Kash Patel, and Ezra Cohen-Watnick promoted to top DoD positions

The Trump Timeline

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Three of the most controversial Trump loyalists are repositioned to serve top positions at the Department of Defense.

Anthony Tata

On Tuesday morning, James Anderson, the acting undersecretary of defense for policy, resigns from his position. Soon after, an anti-Islam conspiracy theorist who believes Barack Obama is a terrorist takes over.

Anthony Tata was serving under Anderson and expected the promotion after Anderson had a dispute with the White House.

Tata was originally nominated to his new position by Donald Trump earlier in 2020. Those plans were cancelled when reporters unearthed tweets calling Obama a “terrorist leader” and a “Manchurian candidate,” as well as a tweet calling Islam the “most oppressive violent religion I know.

And then there’s that time he threatened the former director of the CIA.

Anderson’s resignation as acting undersecretary paved the way for Tata to be in charge of the position Trump wanted him in.

Kashyap “Kash” Patel

Another shakeup in the Dept. of Defense came yesterday when Defense Secretary Mark Esper resigned and was replaced, illegally, with new acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.

On Tuesday, news breaks that Miller’s chief of staff has been replaced with Kashyap “Kash” Patel. He is a corrupt operative who was so entrenched in the Ukraine scandal with Rudy Giuliani and Devin Nunes that Donald Trump thought Ukraine affairs was part of his job. Before the Ukraine scandal, he was most known for drafting a memo on behalf of Trump that tried to discredit government agencies and the Mueller report.

Patel, a Devin Nunes acolyte who played a key role as a Hill staffer in helping Republicans discredit the Russia probe, has had a number of roles in the Trump administration.

He joined the National Security Council’s International Organizations and Alliances directorate in February 2019 and was promoted to a senior counterterrorism role at the NSC in mid-summer. He was then installed as a top adviser in the Office of National Intelligence under former acting DNI Richard Grenell, and most recently was serving at the White House as a deputy assistant to Trump and the top White House counterterrorism official.


Ezra Cohen-Watnick

Ezra Cohen-Watnick is promoted to acting undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security. Joseph Kernan resigned from the position after Trump fired Sec. Mark Esper.

Cohen-Watnick was pushed out of the National Security Council in 2017 for working alongside Michael Flynn in matters related to Russian interference. He was promoted to the Pentagon in early 2020.

He made headlines in 2017 for trying to find intelligence to support Trump’s “Obamagate” claims: the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama wiretapped Trump leading up to the 2016 election. Devin Nunes’ name shows up, again.

In 2017, Trump alleged that Obama had him wiretapped in relation to the Russia probe. Cohen-Watnick, then senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, leaked intelligence to then-House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes, R-Calif., about how Trump was surveilled by foreign sources to bolster Trump’s claim.

“Mr. Cohen-Watnick began combing through intelligence reports … in an effort to find evidence that would justify Mr. Trump’s Twitter posts about wiretapping,” The New York Times reported at the time.


Cohen-Watnick is also connected to the Russian government. His wife, Rebecca Miller, used to work for a public relations firm doing marketing work for the Kremlin.


Photo: Public Domain

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