According to The Daily Beast, White House deputy adviser Sebastian Gorka is on his way out. The news comes at the end of a week that saw intense focus on “Doctor” Gorka’s inflated credentials, including a fraudulent Ph.D.
Although Gorka is most controversial for his ties to the Hungarian fascist organization Vitezi Rend, what seems to be driving this change is his trouble obtaining a security clearance. Embellishments on his resume led Hungarian intelligence to deny him access to classified information in 2002, and history is apparently repeating itself.
Because he is a favorite of Donald Trump, Lachlan Markey and Asawin Suebgsaeng report that the administration is looking for an alternative role rather than simply showing him the door. Emphasis added:
According to two senior administration officials, the White House has been seeking a position for Gorka that does not require a security clearance. One said it was looking to classify him as a member of the federal government’s senior executive service.
[…] BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday that Gorka lacked a security clearance as late as last month. His inability to sit in on high-level national security meetings has reportedly made it all but impossible for him to be involved in White House nat-sec policy-making.
[…] Two senior administration officials described Gorka as completely devoid of influence on White House policy, corroborating reports that he “had not been cleared to sit in any sort of national security meetings, which leaves him without much to do all day,” as one former Obama administration official told BuzzFeed.
As Freak Out Nation detailed in a long article yesterday, genuine scholars who have read Gorka’s doctoral dissertation describe it as a sloppy mess that was never subjected to acceptable academic rigor. Two of his three reviewers lacked a Ph.D of their own, while the third is reportedly a family friend.
Gorka, who has made quite a career out of Islamophobia, also claims expertise on the Middle East without having spent any time in the region. He does not speak Arabic. His claims of a background in counter-terrorism from a brief enlistment in the British reserve army are dubious at best.
Indeed, Gorka has always depended on his personal connections to make up for his professional and academic deficits. For example, his close friendship with Steve Bannon explains how he came into Trump’s orbit and got appointed to the administration in the first place. Gorka’s teaching gig at the Marine Corps University also seems to have been made possible by his friendship with a major conservative donor who chairs the Heritage Foundation.
That long history of exaggerated achievements and sketchy self-promotion would have raised red flags and made it very hard for Gorka to obtain a security clearance.
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