President Donald Trump and his chief strategist, Steve Bannon "personally intervened" to keep national security aide Sebastian Gorka at the White House, after others in the administration were trying to move him to another federal agency, according to senior administration sources.
Last week, sources reported that Gorka was leaving his post as a national security adviser and part of the Strategic Initiatives group to work with a federal agency that examines the 'war of ideas' on countering radical Islamic terrorism. A day later, however, other sources insisted Gorka was not leaving after all.
According to The Daily Beast on Saturday, Trump sees Gorka as being a vital commentator of his administration's anti-terrorism stance. Further, Bannon and Gorka worked together at Breitbart News, where Gorka was Bannon's national security editor.
Gorka was to leave the West Wing, the initial reports claimed because of his difficulty obtaining security clearances and over his involvement with the Vitezi Rend, a Hungarian nationalist group with alleged historical ties to Nazi Germany.
One of the group's leaders told NBC News in April it was "proud" that Gorka wore its honorary medal while attending Trump's Inaugural Ball.
Gorka has denied membership in the organization, and said he wore the medal that had been awarded to his Hungarian-born father.
In addition, many critics say Gorka's anti-Muslim views are extreme, reports The Daily Beast. Senior administration sources said Gorka was "biding his time" on the federal payroll and has few duties at the White House.
Another Trump administration official told The Daily Beast that rumors were swirling following the website's initial report last week that Gorka was being thrown out of the West Wing immediately.
“[Bannon] put a stop to it—he’s loyal and a friend’s job was in danger and reputation was getting dragged through the mud,” the official said. Trump then told Gorka his job remained safe, and talk about moving Gorka out of the White House also stopped at that time, reports The Daily Beast.
Gorka himself told Fox News Radio that the reports are "very fake news" and that he'll remain at the White House as long as Trump wants him there, but if he is needed somewhere else, "I will do whatever he needs me to do."
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