Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka said he supported far-right Hungarian militia

Josefin Dolsten

Sebastian Gorka participating in a discussion during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., Feb. 24, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Sebastian Gorka, who serves as a counterterrorism adviser to President Donald Trump, said in 2007 that he supported a Hungarian nationalist militia accused of racism and anti-Semitism.

Gorka can be seen in the 2007 TV interview, obtained by The Forward, saying that he supported the establishment of the Hungarian Guard, a paramilitary militia with strong ties to the nationalist Jobbik party. In 2009, a Hungarian court banned the Guard.

In the interview, Gorka, when asked as a leader of the newly formed New Democratic Coalition party if he supports the establishment of the militia, said,“That is so,” explaining that it responds to “a big societal need.” Hungary at the time was facing widespread anti-government protests. Gorka has denied ever supporting the Hungarian Guard.

During the program, a banner declares the support of Gorka’s party for the Guard.

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In 2009, the militia, which marched under the colors of the Nazi-era Arrow Cross movement, was banned in Hungary on the grounds that it generated ethnic tension and threatened public order. It soon relaunched itself under a new name.

Gorka was born in England in 1970 to Hungarian parents. He moved to Hungary in 1992, where he appeared on TV as a counterterrorism expert, helped found the NDC and served as an adviser to Viktor Orban, a politician who now heads the conservative Fidesz party. He later moved to the United States, becoming a naturalized citizen in 2012.

Last month, several Democratic lawmakers wrote letters to Trump voicing concern over reports in The Forward of Gorka’s alleged membership in a Hungarian far-right nationalist group, Historical Vitézi Rend. Gorka denied the association, but said he has worn the regalia of the group as a tribute to his father, who was honored by the group for his anti-Communist activism after World War II.

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