The US national security adviser has been pushed out after revelations linking him to the far right. But he’s not the first to be ousted – and he’s unlikely to be the last
By Jonathan Freedland / The Guardian / Monday 1 May 2017 13.46 EDT
The imminent departure from the White House of Sebastian Gorka, the London-born Hungarian nationalist and Fox News “counter-terrorism expert” who surfaced as a presidential adviser, reduces by one the headcount of the wacky right-wing camp of the Trump administration.
It’s a loss that faction can ill afford, given a string of reverses. For this is the group headed by Steve Bannon, the ultra-nationalist chief strategist to the president, who is locked in a power struggle with the Manhattan group, whose most visible figures are Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, reinforced by chief economic adviser and former New York investment banker Gary Cohn.
Sebastian Gorka to leave the White House amid accusations of links to the far-right READ MORE
It was Bannon who brought in Gorka, despite the latter’s questionable credentials in national security. His position became more perilous when The Forward published a series of articles, including video of a 2007 appearance on Hungarian TV, which they said showed Gorka had ties to the antisemitic Hungarian far right. He has also worn a medal awarded to the Hungarian group Vitezi Rend, which has been linked by some to Nazi collaborators. Gorka denies any extremist affiliations.
Bannonites will doubtless try to spin this as something less than a factional defeat. They’ll say it was about his “credibility” which was further compromised once allegations emerged that his “doctorate” – he styled himself “Dr Gorka” – was handed to him by a panel comprising a family friend and two people with no doctoral qualifications of their own.
Indeed, this is the second time the Trump administration has got into PhD trouble. Monica Crowley, appointed as a Trump aide, withdrew after she was accused of plagiarism over her doctorate, a later book and an article for the Wall Street Journal, even though the Trump administration deemed the accusations “politically motivated”. Crowley had been due to work for Michael Flynn, the National Security Adviser who lasted only three weeks