Uh oh. Is there another Nazi in the White House? Reports are coming fast and furious that Sebastian Gorka, Trump's top counter-terrorism aide, may be a member of the Vitézi Rend. Forward reports that this group is a "Hungarian far-right group that is listed by the U.S. State Department as having been under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany during World War II."
Forward goes on to report that this group was run by a man named Admiral Miklos Horthy who was a proud anti-Semite who discriminated against Jews through the usage of restrictive laws. He also collaborated with Hitler during World War II and facilitated the deportatation of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Hungary to the Nazi death camps.
So Gorka. How does he fit into this radical group? Well, the Vitézi Rend leaders report that Gorka took a "life long oath of loyalty" to the group. That would be a huge problem for Gorka for a litany of reasons.
First of all, he came to the US as an immigrant in 2012 and did not disclose any affiliation to this group when being interviewed. Members of this group are "presumed to be inadmissible" to the US under the Immigration and Nationality Act. So if he lied, he could be kicked out of the country.
A retired immigration judge, Bruce Einhorn, told Forward that if he is a member and failed to disclose this affiliation when applying for his visa or citizenship, it could cause him a whole host of problems.
“This is a group that advocates racialist nativism,” said Einhorn. If Gorka did not disclose his affiliation with it, he said, this would constitute “failure to disclose a material fact,” which could undermine the validity of both his immigration status and claim to citizenship.
Second, there is no statute of limitations on looking into this omission, so Gorka can't run out the clock.
Oh, and here's a little tidbit. If you look at the photo at the top of this article you may notice that Gorka is wearing an interesting pin. What is that pin? Oh, nothing. Just a medal from the Vitézi Rend that belonged to his "father." When asked about it, Gorka said, “In 1979 my father was awarded a declaration for his resistance to a dictatorship. Although he passed away 14 years ago, I wear that medal in remembrance of what my family went through and what it represents today, to me, as an American.”
So it is totally not like he was publicly supporting, on national television, the group. Just honoring dear old daddy.
Well, that is not what the Vitézi Rend leadership says. Gyula Soltész, a super high-ranking member of the Vitézi Rend’s central apparatus, and Kornél Pintér, a leader of the Vitézi Rend in Western Hungary, have confirmed with Forward that Gorka is a "full member of the organization." Whoops. Gorka must have forgotten that.
Pinter tells Forward “Of course he was sworn in. I met with him in Sopron [a city near Hungary’s border with Austria]. His father introduced him. In today’s world it is rare to meet anyone as well-bred as Sebastian or his father, Pali."
Oh look, a leader of a Nazi group called him "well-bred"....nice choice of word there. BRED.
About this "oath" that Groka supposedly took. Maybe he can say it was like a simple handshake, wink wink, and you're in. Right? Yeah, no. It is not like that at all. In fact, it is pretty serious stuff and you can't misunderstand what you are saying. Pintér explained that the oath is a solemn initiation rite where Gorka would have memorized and said:
“I, Vitez [name], swear on the Holy Crown that I know the Order’s goals and code, and based on the orders of the Captain and Order Superiors will follow them for the rest of my life. I never betrayed my Hungarianness, and was never and am not currently a member of an anti-national or secret organization. So help me God.”
Oh, and another little tidbit. When you are officially initiated into the group you start using a middle initial "v" (lower case) to show your affiliation. Wouldn't you know Gorka (who's middle name starts with an L) started using a little v as well. Going back to June 2011, he used the full name "Sebastian L. v. Gorka" while testifying in front of the House Armed Services Committee. No one took notice at the time...except his group of friends.
This usage poses a problem for Gorka. He either lied about his identity by using the wrong name intentionally or is lying about his membership in the Vitézi Rend. It has to be one or the other.
When asked by Forward about his membership he declined to comment.
The Anne Frank Center tweeted this shortly after the news broke:
There has also been a lingering question of whether this intelligence guru even has security clearance at all, as noted by David Frum:
To counter this news, it should be reported that Tablet is actually defending Gorka. Their position is that maybe he isn't a member at all and the whole pin thing was *really* because of his love for his father.
At the end of the day, it is clear that Gorka needs to be visited by some investigators to get to the bottom of this. If it turns out to be nothing, then we can move on. But if he did actually lie to get admission to our country as an immigrant, Trump should use his super strong, extreme vetting policies to deport him.