Sebastian Gorka leaves White House, complains it’s not Islamophobic enough

Okay then.

Deputy assistant to President Trump Sebastian Gorka talks with people in the Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, during a ceremony commemorating Israeli Independence Day. CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Deputy assistant to President Trump Sebastian Gorka talks with people in the Treaty Room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, during a ceremony commemorating Israeli Independence Day. CREDIT: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Sebastian Gorka, a national security adviser to President Donald Trump, will be leaving the White House, multiple news outlets reported Friday evening.

In his resignation letter, first obtained by the Federalist, the controversial counterterrorism adviser said he was dissatisfied with the current direction of the administration’s foreign policy — especially in wake of Trump’s recent speech on Afghanistan.

Gorka, who was a prominent cheerleader for Trump on cable news, expressed particular dissatisfaction that the president’s speech on Monday did not mention the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”

“Given recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are — for now — ascendant within the White House,” Gorka wrote. “As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House.”

“Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make American Great Again’ have been internally countered, systemically removed, or undermined in recent months,” he continued. “This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week.”

There was originally speculation about whether Gorka resigned of his own accord or was pushed out, but a report from Yahoo News late on Friday found that Gorka resigned after White House Chief of Staff John Kelly revoked his security clearance, making it hard for him to continue in his job. (No one is still really sure what his job was at the White House.)

Gorka has been a controversial figure in an already controversial administration. He is reportedly a sworn member of a Nazi-allied group in Hungary, and his credentials for the position have come under fire.

His exit was predictable, as he was an ally of former chief strategist Steve Bannon, who left the White House on last Friday. A source in the White House said his resignation was “more less going to be a done deal” after the former Breitbart editor resigned.

In May, 55 members of Congress wrote a letter to Trump urging the president to dismiss Gorka because of links to anti-Semitic groups in Hungary.

“As members of the U.S. Congress who care deeply about fighting anti-Semitism at home and abroad, we urge you to immediately dismiss senior White House counterterrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka,” the letter read. “Based on recent revelations about Mr. Gorka’s public support for and membership in several anti-Semitic and racist groups in Hungary, he is clearly unfit to serve in any position of responsibility in your administration.”

Gorka joined the White House as a deputy assistant to the president in January. Prior to that he had worked as a security editor at Breitbart and a consultant for the FBI during the 2016 campaign until he was fired for anti-Muslim rants.

Counterterrorism experts have repeatedly been puzzled by Gorka’s list of military academic credentials — notably his political science PhD — and their unfamiliarity with his work.

He was fiercely criticized for wearing a Vitézi Rend medal to Trump’s inauguration. Vitézi is a Hungarian far-right group with historical ties to Nazis and anti-Semitism. Gorka allegedly took a “lifelong oath of loyalty” to the group.

This piece was updated to note that Yahoo News reported that Gorka’s security clearance was revoked before he left the White House.