Less than one month after it came out that President Donald Trump's foreign policy adviser Sebastian Gorka had associated with anti-Semitic leaders in Hungary, The Forward reported that Gorka had sworn a lifetime loyalty oath to the Hungarian pro-Nazi group Vitézi Rend. Gorka's response to this latest claim have shifted over the past week.
"I have never been a member of the Vitezi Rend. I have never taken an oath of loyalty to the Vitezi Rend. Since childhood, I have occasionally worn my father’s medal and used the ‘v’ initial to honor his struggle against totalitarianism," Gorka told Tablet Magazine on Thursday.
By contrast, his statement to The Forward avoided the issue of his alleged involvement with the organization.
"I’ve been a committed opponent of anti-Semitism, racism and totalitarianism all my life. Any suggestion otherwise is false and outrageous," Gorka told The Forward in a statement sent from the White House.
Gorka seemed to hedge this statement to The Telegraph on Sunday.
"By the bylaws I inherited the title of Vitez through the merits of my father," Gorka told the site, "but I never swore allegiance formally."
In an interview with Breitbart on Tuesday, Gorka characterized the reports about his alleged ties to Hungarian far right groups as an attempt by the media to discredit President Trump.
"Of course, the attacks we’ve seen in the last month are outrageous and dishonest, but I don’t really take it personally," Gorka said. "These attacks aren’t about me, really; they’re about making sure that the American people don’t get the policies they resoundingly voted for."
He added that "as the son of parents who survived the Nazi takeover of Hungary and then the nightmare of Communism, these attacks have no power over me."
As Eli Clifton and Jim Lobe of Lobelog observed, "Gorka’s response to the charge he is a member of a historically anti-Semitic group has, in less than a week, gone from an outright denial to a denial, as The Telegraph put it, of 'formal membership.' And given an opportunity by Breitbart today to say anything he wished, he chose not to address the issue of the week but instead, in true Trumpian fashion, to attack those who have raised the question as politically motivated."