UPDATE: An investigation carried by The Forward indicates that Sebastian Gorka, President Donald Trump's deputy assistant, developed close ties to groups that showed strong anti-Semitc sentiments in Hungary.
The far-right organizations and public figures Gorka worked with between 2002 and 2007 were openly racist, according to the report.
The Forward has also stated that Gorka allegedly published articles in a racist newspaper, being seen in events with the country's most extreme-right leaders. Gorka is also being accused of having co-founded a political party with members of a Hungarian far-right nationalist party known as Jobbik, known for a history of anti-Semitism, the Daily Beast reports.
When Gorka was caught wearing a medal associated with a regime that collaborated with the Nazis, he explained that he often wears the piece to remind him of his origins and what his parents “suffered under both the Nazis and the Communists.” He told Breitbart News that having this memory helps him with the work he does today.
Sebastian Gorka, the former national security editor at conservative news site Breitbart News, is now deputy assistant to President Donald Trump.
Called an “anti-Muslim extremist” by many, Gorka went from being a fringe voice in the foreign policy debate to having the opportunity to shape the president’s approach to national security, the Washington Post wrote.
After Trump’s inauguration speech made a mention to the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” Gorka told reporters that the president had broken with the approach embraced by both Republicans and Democrats until then, the Washington Post wrote. This shift was positive in Gorka’s less than popular views precisely because for him, the terrorism issue isn’t born out of decades of U.S. intervention in the Middle East. Instead, Gorka said he believes that religious ideology is the problem, and anyone who downplays it is “deleting reality to fit their own world.”
On Tuesday, Gorka called one of his most consistent critics on the phone to threaten legal action against him, Newsweek reported.
Michael S. Smith II, a terrorism expert who lives in South Carolina, had criticized Gorka over his lack of grasp when it comes to Islam. Smith, who’s a Republican, slammed Gorka for not knowing “the enemies’ ideologies well enough to combat them,” Newsweek reported.
Calling from a private phone, Gorka allegedly threatened Smith to entangle him “in a legal battle for voicing” his concerns that Trump’s deputy assistant “does not possess expertise sufficient to assist the president of the United States with formulating and guiding national security policies.”
On Twitter, Gorka shares videos and interviews in which he defends keeping Guantanamo Bay open and says that the war against the Islamic State is about ideology. But every other tweet really is about “fake news,” the term used by many to avoid addressing real concerns brought up by journalists working for various publications.
While Gorka has repeatedly failed to demonstrate his “expertise,” he remains a key figure in the Trump administration, prompting many to question his credentials and whether the president is aware of his lack of knowledge concerning Middle East conflicts.
Instead of truly fighting the establishment views that led the United States into a perpetual war for control over the Middle East, the “anti-establishment” key players in Trump’s administration are just working on boosting policies that have been normalized under past administrations. And the more America gets involved with the region, the more it backfires — creating an even greater threat.
It’s time for a real anti-establishment approach, as the Trump team seems oblivious to the fact that they are just selling more of the same bankrupt ideas on foreign intervention, but with an Islamophobic touch.