A national security adviser to President Trump has sued the New York Times, claiming the media outlet falsely accused him of being a White House back channel to Ukraine.
National security official Kashyap “Kash” Patel filed the defamation suit Wednesday in state court in Fairfax County, Va. He’s asking for $44.9 million in damages.
The complaint centers on an Oct. 23, 2019, article the Times published that focused on Patel, who previously worked as an aide to California Rep. Devin Nunes, who chaired the House Intelligence Committee when Republicans were in charge of the lower chamber. It also names reporter Adam Goldman as well as the newspaper as a defendant.
“On October 23, 2019, in an article published online and tweeted to millions, Goldman and the Times, directly and by implication, falsely accused Kash Patel of lying, deceit, federal crimes, and illegal, conniving and unethical conduct,” the suit says.
The story was headlined “White House Aides Feared that Trump Had Another Ukraine Back Channel.”
“Senior national security officials grew concerned about Kash Patel, a colleague who had been involved in Republicans’ efforts to undermine the Russia investigation,” the story said.
The story said the officials “grew alarmed” after hearing that Trump referred to Patel as one of his Ukraine policy advisers and that the president wanted to discuss “related documents with him.”
The article particularly cited the testimony of diplomat Fiona Hill, the National Security Council’s former senior director for Eurasian and Russian affairs, who expressed concerns after hearing Patel described by Trump as the NSC’s “Ukraine director.”
The article quotes pals of Patel dismissing the concerns as “conspiracy theories,” while the White House declined comment.
Patel’s lawsuit claims it’s all malarkey.
“In truth, at no time prior to October 23, 2019 had Kash ever communicated with the President on any matters involving Ukraine. Kash never supplied any Ukraine `materials’ to the President,” Patel says in his suit, filed by Steven Bliss.
“Kash is proud of his record as a dedicated national security professional who is entrusted to handle our nation’s most sensitive matters. At no time did Kash stray from his mission to protect the homeland in service to the President and the NSC.”
Patel filed a similar suit against Politico.com.
Times spokesperson Ari Isaacman Bevacqua defended the story.
“Our story was carefully reported and we stand by it. We will defend the lawsuit vigorously,” she said.