Jewish groups are calling for the resignation of President Trump’s senior counterterrorism adviser, Sebastian Gorka.
The rumors began flying after Gorka was photographed wearing a medal in memory of his Hungarian father, who fought against Hungary’s Communist regime. Claiming that the medal hails from a far-right Hungarian nationalist group known as Vitézi Rend, members of the media began speculating that Gorka himself is a “racist” and an “anti-Semite”
“The U.S. State Department listed as a group that was ‘under the direction of the Nazi government of Germany,’ and said members are inadmissible for immigration into America,” according to a report in the NY Daily News, which used anonymous sources to claim that Gorka had taken the group’s “lifelong oath of loyalty.”
When Gorka did not respond to media requests for comment, the controversy swelled as Jewish organizations, including the Anne Frank Center, began calling for his resignation.
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“That Sebastian cannot even deny he has links with a Nazi-affiliated organization is symptomatic of the grotesque anti-Semitism that has infected the White House,” said Anne Frank Center executive director Steven Goldstein in a statement. “How many ducks in the Trump White House must walk, talk and quack anti-Semitically before our country wakes up and sees the problem?”
Jewish lawmaker Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), tweeted out the story and commented, “White House & Gorka’s silence in response is deafening.”
Nadler also sent a letter to the White House demanding “that Gorka’s immigration papers be handed over to the House Judiciary Committee, as he said the White House aide might be ‘in violation of the law.'”
“The uncertainty over Mr. Gorka’s membership in this racist and anti-Semitic organization, and the White House’s silence in answering questions regarding his status, raise further concerns that this issue is not being treated with the urgency it deserves,” Nadler wrote in his letter.
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) March 16, 2017
Forced to defend himself, Gorka told reporters, “I have never been a member of the Vitez Rend. I have never taken an oath of loyalty to the Vitez Rend.”
Gorka explained that he occasionally wore his father’s medal “to honor his struggle against totalitarianism.”
“An anonymous source, said to be close the White House, also claimed that Gorka found the accusation ‘so blatantly false and so aggressively poorly-sourced’ that he saw no reason to refute it immediately,” read the report, which noted, “The White House has not officially commented about Gorka, and has announced no actions against him.”
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