Controversial Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka out of White House job
Sebastian Gorka, a fringe rightwing figure with questionable foreign policy and security credentials, is no longer working for the Trump administration, a White House official said Aug. 25, the Guardian reported.
The official said Gorka did not resign but would not elaborate on the circumstances of his departure. The New York Times reported that the president’s new chief of staff, John Kelly, had made clear that he no longer wanted Gorka in the White House, and forced him out.
Gorka, the deputy assistant to the president, advised Donald Trump on national security but his responsibilities were vague. He frequently appeared as a surrogate for Trump on cable news, where he appeared to enjoy stirring controversy during his months-long tenure.
The Guardian has reported that Gorka, who is a naturalized US citizen born in London to Hungarian parents, has past ties to far-right groups in Hungary. Gorka denied having been a part of the group.
He has drawn fierce criticism for his views on Islam. He was a vocal proponent of Trump’s attempt to temporarily ban travel from six Muslim-majority countries. When a bomb exploded at a Mosque in outside of Minneapolis, Gorka defended Trump’s silence on the attack by suggesting that it could have been a “fake hate crime”.
Liberals and progressives have long decried Gorka’s presence in the White House. In the wake of the deadly violence during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, civil rights groups called on the president to fire Gorka and Steve Bannon, who served as the president’s former chief of staff until he was removed from his role last week.
On Friday, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights welcomed Gorka’s departure, calling it “long overdue”.
“No one who supports white supremacy and neo-Nazi ideas should be serving in this or any administration,” Vanita Gupta, the group’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
She pointed to the two other actions the president took on Aug. 25: signing into law a ban on transgender people serving in the military and pardoning a controversial Arizona sheriff.
“Attacking patriotic transgender individuals serving in our military and pardoning Joe Arpaio on the same day as this resignation, however, makes it clear the problem is not Bannon or Gorka but the president himself.”
Most recently, Gorka was forced to walk back comments that implied the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, was speaking out of turn when he assured Americans that nuclear war with North Korea was not an “imminent threat”.
“You should listen to the president – the idea that Secretary Tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical,” Gorka said, according to a recording of the interview obtained by the Washington Post.
Gorka previously wrote about national security for Breitbart News, where he worked for Bannon, who has since returned to Breitbart news as executive chairman.