Sebastian Gorka has left the White House.
A former editor for the conservative Breitbart News website, Gorka joined the White House as a counterterrorism adviser but he operated outside of the National Security Council and no one was ever quite sure what his responsibilities were.
He was best known for periodically appearing on TV and fawning over his boss whilst simultaneously scaring the bejeezus out of people.
Here are five reasons why he might have left/been fired..
1) What This Guy Said
This bold statement was made in response to Gorka’s interview with the Today programme earlier this month when he refused to rule out full-blown nuclear war with North Korea.
He also insisted US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, had no right to say there was no sign the threat level from North Korea had changed and Americans should “sleep well at night”.
So y’know, he wasn’t exactly the reassuring type.
2) His Unrelenting Fawning
After claiming his chaotic administration was actually a “fine-tuned machine” he then set about goading journalists, lying (again) about the extent of his election victory and denying he was racist, whilst saying some curiously-phrased things to a black reporter and telling a Jewish reporter to be quiet.
Whilst anyone with at least one functioning ear or the ability to read knew it was an unmitigated and hugely embarrassing incident, Gorka insisted it was in fact “a fabulous press conference”.
If you can bear it, it’s worth watching the whole thing.
Or, in summary...
3) He Has No Idea What ‘Fake News’ Actually Means
During the same interview Gorka repeatedly accused the BBC of “committing fake news”, as if it’s a crime punishable by being forced to listen to a Trump aide for 11 minutes.
The odd exchange went as follows:
Evan Davies: “Is it the case you will plan no action against the press? The press will be allowed to do its job exactly as it always has...”
Gorka: “What are you intimating? This is fake news.
Davies: “It’s not at all, I’ve just asked you a question.”
Gorka: “You’ve just committed fake news. You are implying there is some dread intent. It’s absurd.”
4) Trump Finally Realised He Was Totally Unqualified
Gorka has a PhD in political science from the Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary which has variously been described as “inept” and “bogus” and his views have been described by counterterrorism experts as “dangerous oversimplifications that could alienate Muslim allies and boost support for terrorist groups”.
This is what Gorka’s friend and PhD advisor told CNN recently:
I would not call him an expert on terrorism. His level of expertise does not match the level where he stands in the White House.
And that’s coming from a friend.
5) He Thinks You Can ‘Catch’ Cancer
If one exchange with the media summed up Gorka it was this one with MSNBC.
Gorka: “You cannot solve a problem unless you are allowed to talk truthfully about it so we will call it Islamic radical terrorism, we will target the ideology and we will call it out for being evil and we will work with our Muslim partners.
MSNBC: “Again, I don’t understand how just calling it by its name helps solve the problem.”
Gorka: “So if you have, god forbid, caught cancer and the hospital was forbidden from calling it cancer and said: ‘You have the flu, go home and hydrate and take some aspirin.’ Would you actually have the right treatment?”
MSNBC: “No, but there’s still no cure for cancer.”
Gorka: “Have you not heard of chemo?”
MSNBC: “I have heard of chemo and cancer can still kill you so it doesn’t matter what you call it.”
Gorka: “Cancer can be cu... It doesn’t matter what you call it? Really? So if I call it the flu and say go home and take some aspirin, what’s going to happen to you?”
MSNBC: “Mr Gorka, there must be a better response to that? I asked you a very straightforward question.”
Gorka has declined to discuss the reasons he left the White House, but pointed toward excerpts from his resignation letter that were posted Friday evening by The Federalist website.
Gorka wrote that “the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months.”
He criticised Trump’s recent speech on Afghanistan, writing, “The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost.”
He also wrote, “the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House”, reports the Associated Press.
Gorka’s exit follows the departure of chief strategist Steve Bannon, a key adviser in Trump’s general election campaign, but a contentious presence in a White House divided by warring staff loyalties. Bannon quickly returned to his post at Breitbart News.
Bannon left the White House after the arrival of new chief of staff, John Kelly, who had embarked on a personnel review of West Wing staff. Kelly has sought to impose discipline on a chaotic West Wing, limiting dissenting voices, restricting access to the president and “stacking the deck” on major decisions to guide Trump toward an outcome.
The administration has seen a number of high-profile exits in recent months, including Trump’s first press secretary, Sean Spicer, and his first chief of staff, Reince Priebus.