Amid all the oral diarrhea Trump is spewing right now, like continued taunts toward North Korea, there is an administration deputy assistant advisor whose advisory role is somewhat vague. The subject of a recent Rolling Stone profile, Sebastian Gorka, is a scary fringe figure who somehow wriggled his way (with Steve Bannon’s help) into a tax-dollar-paying job that is supposedly as a counterterrorism expert.
Gorka, a former Breitbart editor, who has gotten quite far with shady credentials, appeared on MSNBC on August 8, with Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi. When the hosts welcomed him to the interview, Gorka rumbled out a sinister, “Greetings,” as if narrating The Son of Dracula. A heated exchange ensued, with Gorka holding fast to his sole focus on Islamic extremist, avoiding any suggestion of U.S. right-wing hate groups. He repeatedly scolded and interrupted the hosts to make claims such as, “There’s no such thing as a lone wolf, you do know that,” when discussing Islamic extremists. “That was a phrase invented by the last administration to make Americans stupid.”
In the present White House atmosphere in which individuals like Gorka and Steven Bannon are thriving, in the last six months the Trump administration has limited the scope and funding of the Countering Violent Extremism federal program, allowing for study of only Islamic extremism. Furthermore, other programs that had been making great strides countering domestic neo-Nazi and right-wing hate groups were eliminated in June by the Department of Homeland Security.
Gorka, a Hungarian-American naturalized U.S. citizen, was photographed during Trump’s inauguration wearing the uniform and medals of the Vitezi Rend, Hungary’s far-right group historically connected to Nazi Germany. During the interview, MSNBC hosts did not question Gorka on this affiliation, but they did press him about the subject of the recent mosque bombing in Minnesota and the absence of a White House comment. His answer reeked of fascist propaganda.
“There’s a great rule (that) all initial reports are false,” Gorka said. “You have to check them, you find out who the perpetrators are. We’ve had a series of crimes committed, alleged hate crimes by right-wing individuals, in the last six months that turned out to have actually been propagated by the left, so let’s wait and see—let’s allow the local authorities to provide their assessment and then the White House will make its comments.”
So far no presidential comments on this specific case, but plenty of road-rage gibberish and public thanks for Putin for expelling U.S. embassy workers.