Sebastian Gorka, a controversial deputy assistant and national security adviser, has left the White House. While Gorka tried to characterize the departure as a resignation, a White House official has stated that “Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works at the White House.”
Gorka was a former Breitbart News writer closely allied with recently-ousted senior adviser Steve Bannon. During his White House tenure, Gorka reportedly gained the favor of President Trump for his vigorous defenses of the administration’s immigration and counterterrorism policies on television. But experts openly questioned his qualifications as a terrorism adviser, with one respected terror analyst derisively describing him as a “counterterrorism enthusiast.”
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Gorka moved quickly to claim that his departure was a resignation, not a firing. Late Friday, he sent a copy of what he said was a resignation letter to The Federalist, writing in part that “it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House.”
Trump ally Roger Stone echoed Gorka’s assessment to Politico, saying “the seven-day-in-May crowd is making steady progress and trying to convert the Trump administration to George Soros-style globalism” and, in an apparent threat to the man he helped elect, that “I can find another candidate for 2020 who can win the primary, believe me.”
Those forces prominently include new Chief of Staff John Kelly, who according to some reports revoked Gorka’s security clearance on Friday, while Gorka was on vacation. Gorka’s ouster also reflects the ascendancy of new Trump national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who appears to have strongly influenced Trump’s new interventionist stance on Afghanistan. That stance reversed Trump’s campaign pledges to end American involvement there, a shift also cited by Gorka in his parting letter.