The 2018 book Russian Roulette by journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn said Kahl was part of the small Obama national security team inner circle working on Russian interference issues in 2016. “Kahl had to insist to [national security adviser Susan] Rice that he be allowed to attend so Biden could be kept up to speed,” they wrote.

Kahl began his defenses of Steele’s dossier and public flirtation with claims of President Trump colluding with Russia in early 2017. He attacked the House Intelligence Committee Republicans’ memo on alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses in early 2018, which had its conclusions largely vindicated by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s scathing December 2019 report that criticized the Justice Department and FBI for 17 “significant errors or omissions” in the FISA process related to the wiretapping of 2016 Trump campaign associate Carter Page.

The Biden pick pointed to an “intriguing thread on the Trump-Russia-Rosneft connection mentioned in the Steele dossier” on March 26, 2017, promoting a four dozen-tweet thread by Seth Abramson, a writer who made a name for himself in the Trump era with long Twitter threads and claims of Russian collusion.