King of Fake News – Sebastian Gorka Ousted from the White House
Officials say the fringe figure and former Bretibart writer did not resign, amid reports that new chief of staff John Kelly forced Gorka out
- 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 on Friday.
- 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.
CNN | Sebastian Gorka RESIGNS from Trump White House
The controversial Trump aide is latest high-profile administration departure. How and why he’s out at the White House, though, is still developing
- Gorka, a deputy assistant to the president, is known for his focus on Islamic terrorism and as a frequent presence on cable news. He previously worked as an international news editor at the right-wing outlet Breitbart, under the leadership of Steve Bannon — the one time chief strategist to President Trump who has since returned to Breitbart.
- Amid a series of breaking news stories on Friday night, Gorka’s exit from the White House was first reported as a resignation by The Federalist, which a source confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
- A White House official, however, disputed that account and suggested that he had been pushed out. “Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works at the White House,” the official said in a statement to reporters.
- The White House statement is unusual. A Republican source close to the White House noted in an email to BuzzFeed News, “First time I have ever seen surrogate operations send out something like this.”
- A source with knowledge of the situation said Gorka was planning to resign on Monday, his first day back from vacation, during a planned meeting with White House chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, but the letter leaked before the meeting could take place.
- Regardless, Gorka is the latest White House official to leave his post, after Bannon was ousted earlier this month by Trump’s chief of staff Gen. John Kelly, and following a series of departures this summer.
- Gorka has been a source of controversy as long as he has been in the Trump administration. Earlier this year, there were reports that Gorka belonged to Historical Vitézi Rend, a far-right Hungarian group that had ties to the Nazi party and a complicated history. Gorka has denied he belonged to the group and denied holding anti-Semitic beliefs.
- More recently, after a bomb exploded at a Mosque in rural Minneapolis, Gorka said he was not convinced the attack was not “a fake hate crime.”
GORKA in ACTION: Donald Trump aide Sebastian Gorka accuses BBC of ‘fake news’- BBC Newsnight
- Sebastian Gorka is out at the White House, a Trump administration official confirmed on Friday night.
- Earlier reports indicated that Gorka resigned, but a White House official said in a statement obtained by Business Insider that Gorka did not resign, but confirmed that he no longer works at the White House.
- The former Breitbart staffer and Steve Bannon ally served as a deputy assistant to President Donald Trump.
- His departure comes one week after Bannon left the administration to return to Breitbart, and follows a spate of firings and resignations at the White House.
- In his departing letter, first published on a pro-Trump website, Gorka told Trump he could better serve the president’s “America First” agenda from the outside.
- Gorka was aligned with a once-ascendant nationalist arm of the Trump administration, occupied most prominently by Bannon and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller. Bannon’s departure was seen as a significant blow to other nationalist, far-right figures in the White House and Gorka implied as much in his letter, saying it was clear to him that “forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House.”
- Gorka, along with Bannon and Miller, were considered polar opposites to the establishment wing of the Trump administration, which is largely guided by national security adviser H.R. McMaster and chief of staff John Kelly. McMaster in particular has been a frequent target of Trump’s supporters on the far-right, who have accused him of trying to steer Trump away from some of his populist leanings.
- “Regrettably, outside of yourself,” Gorka said in his letter, first published by “the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months.”
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