With Steve Bannon officially out of the White House, some insiders say controversial deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka could be next on the chopping block.
Multiple White House officials are saying that Gorka’s fate is up in the air now that his boss, Bannon, has been ousted by President Trump, according to reports from Tthe Daily Beast and Maggie Haberman, The New York Times reporter who broke the original Bannon firing story.
Bannon, Gorka and Stephen Miller are widely seen as allies representing the same nationalist camp within Trump’s tumultuous White House. Gorka reported immediately to Bannon, and the two previously worked together at the right-wing news site Breitbart.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee celebrated Bannon’s departure and called on Gorka and Miller to be ousted next, describing both men as “racists.”
Steve Bannon is GONE! But we can’t stop now. Trump’s White House is STILL riddled with racists like Gorka & Miller. Time to evict them ALL! pic.twitter.com/bHsSpcCnGa— DCCC (@dccc) August 18, 2017
Human Rights Watch also called for Gorka’s ouster, characterizing him as someone with “known links to or a history of encouraging the white nationalist movement.”
Here’s the HRW statement calling for the removal of Stephen Bannon. Sebastian Gorka should also be removed. https://t.co/cedI0EbrgFpic.twitter.com/XKdCTTRd0O— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) August 18, 2017
Michael S. Smith, a terrorism analyst who’s repeatedly feuded with Gorka on Twitter, asked, “Is “Dr” #FakeTerrorismExpert Gorka gone, too?” Smith has led a social media campaign to highlight Gorka’s questionable doctorate degree.
Gorka has been dogged by controversy for months, particularly stemming from his ties to right-wing groups in Hungary that were allied to the Nazis, as revealed by the Forward.
These associations could put a bull’s-eye on him as the administration reels from a backlash over Trump’s handling of a far-right rally in Virginia that devolved into violence.
Gorka has also been dogged by persistent reports that he has failed to obtain a security clearance, making it virtually impossible for him to do his job effectively.
Reports of Gorka’s imminent demise could be premature, though.
In recent weeks, Gorka has made a string of administration-stumping prime-time TV appearances, which reportedly pleased the president.
Similar predictions circulated several months ago, but turned out to be incorrect as Trump stuck by Gorka.
Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.