A notorious Nazi group in Hungary is acknowledging that one of Donald Trump’s top White House aides, counter-terrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka, is one of its sworn members. The revelation that Gorka is officially a Nazi, first exposed today by the news publication Forward, is sending shockwaves through the political world. And because the group in question is on a banned list for immigrants, Gorka now faces the possibility of not only losing his job, but of being deported.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Sebastian Gorka found his way to the White House through his associate Steve Bannon, as the two previously worked closely together at white nationalist propaganda site Breitbart. Although detractors have often accused Bannon and his Breitbart ilk of metaphorically being Nazis, this is the first instance of one being exposed as literally a Nazi. The Hungarian group, Vitézi Rend, has been around in various incarnations since World War II. The State Department classified the group as being “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany,” and to this day, any official member of the group is disallowed from immigrating into the United States.
That’s a problem for Gorka, who was born in the United Kingdom but lived in Hungary for much of his life, and only became a United States citizen five years ago. Based on existing rules, his immigration status and citizenship are in jeopardy due to his sworn membership. Gorka himself has been contacted about Vitézi Rend’s claim that he was a member, and he declined to refute it. So this isn’t merely some kind of disputed accusation; he’s refusing to deny that he’s a sworn member of a Nazi group. So now what?
Depending on the size of the firestorm this sets off over the next days, Donald Trump and Steve Bannon will have to decide whether to force Sebastian Gorka out of his White House job; the NY Daily News reports that Jewish groups are already demanding his ouster. From there, they would have to decide whether to try to intervene in any potential deportation process. Read the original Forward reporting on Gorka’s sworn Nazi status here. This could be even more perceptually devastating to Trump’s White House than the controversial departure of foreign agent Michael Flynn. Update: After spending the day refusing to deny it when asked by various reporters, Gorka has now belatedly denied the claim to Tablet Magazine.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report