Skip To Content
Fast Forward

National Security Adviser McMaster: Gorka Isn’t On National Security Council

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that Sebastian Gorka, the controversial White House counterterrorism adviser, is not on the National Security Council — raising further questions about what, exactly, Gorka does for President Trump.

When asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd what Gorka’s National Security Council role entails, McMaster replied that Gorka is “not in the National Security Council.”

(Gorka’s title of deputy assistant to the president does not automatically entitle him to sit in on National Security Council meetings. But President Trump could, if he wished, give Gorka a promotion, or could restructure the council so that Gorka could attend anyway — as the president briefly did for White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon).

McMaster was then asked if Gorka’s frequent pronouncements on national media should be taken as official White House policy. The general responded by claiming that he had “not seen anything he’s said lately.” But when told about Gorka’s recent assertion on BBC Radio that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should not be involving himself in the recent tensions with North Korea, McMaster pushed back by saying that Tillerson is “a tremendously talented leader and diplomat.”

Gorka, whose long-standing ties to far-right, Nazi-allied Hungarian groups were first exposed by the Forward, was the recent subject of a Rolling Stone profile in which one former White House official claimed that Gorka’s “only job appears to be to go on talk radio or Fox News to defend the indefensible.”

In the NBC interview, McMaster also refused repeatedly to say whether he could work positively with Bannon. The former Breitbart proprietor is seen as an ally of Gorka, who frequently wrote for the website.

Update, 7:40 p.m.: This post has been updated to more accurately explain the composition of the National Security Council.

Contact Aiden Pink at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.