Monday, May 1, 2017

Spicer says he has 'no belief' that controversial adviser Sebastian Gorka is 'currently leaving the White House'

Spicer says he has 'no belief' that controversial adviser Sebastian Gorka is 'currently leaving the White House'
By Pamela Engel

Sebastian GorkaAlex Wong/Getty Images

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday pushed back on reports that controversial national security adviser Sebastian Gorka is being forced out of the White House.

The Washington Examiner reported Sunday that Gorka would leave soon for a new role dealing "with the 'war of ideas' involved in countering radical Islamic extremism." CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta later tweeted that he had confirmed the report.

Rather than being a White House position, the new role would be with a federal agency.

"There is no personnel announcement at the time," Spicer said during a press briefing Monday in response to a question about why he's leaving the White House. "I have no belief that he is currently leaving the White House, so there is nothing to update you on with respect to that."

Spicer's statement wasn't a flat denial of the Washington Examiner report, however, considering his use of the word "currently." But Ruth Sherlock, an editor at the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, tweeted after the briefing that a senior White House official told her that Gorka is not leaving the White House or changing jobs.

Gorka found himself under fire in March when the Forward published a story alleging that he is a sworn member of a Hungarian far-right group known as Vitézi Rend, which is listed by the State Department as having been "under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany" during World War II.

Gorka is widely disdained within the national security field, and several national-security experts have cast doubt on his credentials, questioning whether he has the experience to give advice in the White House. He was formerly an editor at the far-right website Breitbart.

Harrison Jacobs contributed to this report.

NOW WATCH: Yale history professor: Here’s why it's useful to compare Trump's actions to Hitler's

May 1, 2017 at 02:51PM
via Feedburner