Counterterrorism advisor Sebastian Gorka leaves position a week after chief strategist Steve Bannon - a close ally - departs
Sebastian Gorka has left his position as counterterrorism advisor to President Donald Trump, according to a White House statement Friday night.
Gorka, a close ally of Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, “did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works at the White House”, an official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
Gorka, who frequently appeared on TV to defend the policies and statements of President Trump, was known for his outspoken, combative style and hard-line views on fights against terror.
He has been accused of having ties to an anti-Semitic group and faced challenges to his credentials as a terrorism expert.
Gorka's departure comes a week after Bannon left the White House to return to the helm of Breitbart News, where Gorka once worked as editor.
In May, 55 House Democrats signed a letter that asked Trump to fire Gorka. "As members of the U.S. Congress who care deeply about fighting anti-Semitism at home and abroad, we urge you to immediately dismiss senior White House counterterrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka," the letter said.
It further accused Gorka of being linked to "former prominent members of the anti-Semitic Jobbik party in Hungary”.
Amongst several peers who questioned Gorka’s expertise and fitness for the White House position, security researcher Michael S. Smith wrote an email to Gorka in February asking for his resignation.
Smith wrote that as long as Gorka and Bannon remained at the White House, “luck is what I will pray for, for all Americans”.
Bannon, a prominent figure in the self-described "alt-right" movement, has been a focal point of controversy after helming Breitbart News -- the movement's premier news outlet.
Throughout his time in office, Bannon has pushed a far-right agenda, urging Trump to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement and institute a promised travel ban that many criticized as a measure targeting Muslims.
During an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity in February. Gorka vehemently defended the travel ban, saying: "This is the house of America. And the idea that we don't control it is crazy."