The battle between the right-wing and mainstream press over presidential aide Sebastian Gorka, just intensified.
In an editorial on the apparent decline in influence of Steve Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, within the administration, The New York Times also cited the background of Gorka, a close Bannon confidant. Highlighting the Forward’s coverage of Gorka’s ties to far-right anti-Semitic groups while leading a political party in Hungary, and his support for the establishment of an extremist paramilitary militia led by racists and anti-Semites there, the Times opined, “If such charges are true, Mr. Gorka obviously should not be working for the White House.
The editorial came a little over one week after New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff cited the Forward’s work in a column of his own questioning Gorka’s competency.
Supporters of Gorka, who is Trump’s chief advisor on counter-terrorism, meanwhile, have taken to news outlets such as RedState.com and the Federalist to insist the Forward’s most recent story—documenting Gorka’s support, in a 2007 video, for the establishment of the far-right Hungarian Guard, is just a “hit piece.”
Meanwhile, the White House official himself, who previously acted as one of the White House’s main spokespeople on major media, seems to have been relegated lately to appearing on exclusively friendly, right-leaning outlets that appeal mainly to Trump’s base. In his most recent appearance, on Fox News’ Sean Hannity program, Gorka set off after Susan Rice, former president Obama’s National Security Adviser. The disclosure that Rice had requested the “unmasking” of Americans who were incidentally recorded during the government’s investigation into Russian meddling in America’s campaign, said Gorka, made Watergate “a little spat in the sandbox,” he told Hannity.
Hannity raised no questions about any of the recent reports about Gorka’s background.