President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as undersecretary of defense policy, Dr. Colin Kahl, is a Russia hoax truther who often hurled insults at Republicans in Congress and holds a more than shaky track record on foreign policy.
In addition to his questionable ties to China, Kahl, a former national security adviser for Biden in the Obama administration, repeatedly denounced Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee for amplifying the FISA abuses in 2018 that were used to spy on the Trump campaign. He specifically targeted Republican Rep. Devin Nunes for being “biased and dishonest” about the investigation surrounding then-presidential nominee Donald Trump’s supposed ties to Russia and promoted a House Intelligence Committee Democrats’ memo that he claimed was “a devastating rebuttal to Nunes & his crackpot staff.”
“This is definitely an emerging GOP talking point being pushed hard by Rep. Nunes’ HPSCI staff. Anyone making this argument has obviously not read many CIA products. Which is weird, because you’d think folks on the intel committee would be familiar with them,” Kahl wrote.
Kahl is a longtime defender of the Iran nuclear deal, joining forces with Antony Blinken and other Democratic foreign policy experts to co-author an article arguing in favor of keeping the policy and urging Congress to rescind its support of Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017.
“Iran has committed in writing that, pursuant to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it will never seek a nuclear weapon and has put all key elements of its program under close surveillance. … The deal is working,” the article concluded.
He also made a point to smear GOP figures such as Nikki Haley, Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Tom Cotton on social media for opposing the deal.
The former Obama-Biden adviser also took a swing at Republicans and Trump about antisemitism even after Kahl received backlash for the Obama administration and DNC’s Jerusalem blunder in 2012.
“We have yet to hear from Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) or House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who claimed to be oh so concerned about anti-Semitism when the issue was statements by Omar…Don’t expect Netanyahu to condemn the remarks, either,” Kahl wrote on Twitter.
Kahl also engaged in other partisan attacks on GOP lawmakers and Trump on social media, behavior that recently contributed to the White House’s decision to sink Neera Tanden’s nomination to lead the nation’s top budget office.
“It’s undeniable that: Team Trump & GOP leadership were witting of Russia’s attack in real-time; They were all-too-happy to politically benefit from it; and They actively and repeatedly sought to constrain efforts to make Russia pay for it. That’s all pretty damning,” Kahl tweeted in 2017.
“Every Republican Senator who upheld Trump’s veto now shares ownership of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and adds their signature to the blank check Trump has given to Saudi Arabia,” he wrote in 2019.
“Circular firing squad btwn McConnell&WH on display this morning will get worse as we get to the end of the yr & GOP has accomplished nothing,” he wrote in 2017.
Kahl is set to face a series of intense questioning by some of the members of Congress he insulted over the years during his hearing on the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
“We are very much aware of this nomination moving forward,” said Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennesse. “There are tremendous concerns. … Is this somebody who’s really going to encourage a strong national defense and standing against China, pushing back on North Korea, making certain Iran does not get a nuclear weapon? … I’m not so sure.”
Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, who is viewed as a swing vote in confirmation hearings, already announced her opposition to Kahl joining the Department of Defense.
. @SenJoniErnst will oppose Colin Kahl's DOD nomination, citing his "incendiary remarks" on Twitter; said her enlisting daughter & other US troops "deserve someone who will take a serious outlook to policy and not put this type of garbage out in front of the American public."
— Alana Goodman (@alanagoodman) March 4, 2021