Sebastian Gorka once publicly supported a violent anti-Semitic militia

Trump's counter-terrorism adviser is looking more and more Nazi-ish

By Matthew Rozsa

Published April 4, 2017 1:32PM (EDT)

Sebastian Gorka   (Getty/Alex Wong)
Sebastian Gorka (Getty/Alex Wong)

President Donald Trump's chief counter-terrorism adviser, Sebastian Gorka, has been the subject of months of stories discussing his ties to Hungarian far right groups. Now a video has emerged from 2007 in which Gorka openly supported Magyar Gárda, a violent racist and anti-Semitic militia created by a Hungarian far right and anti-Semitic political party known as Jobbik.

In the footage obtained by The Forward, Gorka told a TV interviewer in August 2007 that he and his own party, the New Democratic Coalition, supported Jobbik's decision to create Magyar Gárda, which translates into Hungarian Guard. After claiming that the Hungarian Guard was responding to "a big societal need," Gorka argued that the Hungarian military "is sick, and totally reflects the state of Hungarian society. . . This country cannot defend itself."

When the interviewer pointed out that the Hungarian Guard's look and practices echoed the days of fascism, Gorka responded that "I’m not saying it’s a good solution, but neither shooting training nor using the Arpad flag [is] unconstitutional." The Arpad flag was used by the fascist Arrow Cross party, which briefly controlled Hungary from 1944 to 1945.

Gorka also defended the use of the fascist symbols by arguing: "When the police shows up to deal with bank robbers in black uniforms, who talks about a fascist police in Hungary? Nobody! Now, it is possible that when they put together all these things, the effect in the end will be very bad, but it’s not my problem. It would be Fidesz [another party that Gorka claimed supported the Hungarian Guard] and Jobbik’s problem."

When asked about Hungarian Jews who were concerned that the Guard would cause a resurgence of anti-Semitism, Gorka told his interviewer that "this is a tool. This type of accusation is the very useful tool of a certain political class."

Magyar Gárda was later denounced by the European Court of Human Rights for its attempts to create an "essentially racist" legal order in Hungary, as well as banned due to the menace it presented to minority groups in that country.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Anti-semitism Donald Trump Sebastian Gorka