Donald Trump’s Deputy Assistant has angrily denied being anti-Semitic after he was spotted wearing a military medal associated with Hungarian Nazi sympathisers.
Sebastian Gorka, who is of Hungarian descent but was born and raised in the UK, was pictured wearing the controversial badge at an inaugural ball for Mr Trump and several other events.
According to the LobeLog blog, the medal was given to Mr Gorka’s father by the group Vitezi Rend – meaning Order of Heroes - that consisted of supporters of Miklos Horthy, the former ruler of Hungary, who collaborated with the Nazis during World War Two. The US State Department lists the group as being directed by Nazi Germany.
Horthy, who served as Regent of The Kingdom of Hungary between 1920 and 1944, was a self-declared hater of Jews. In 1940 he wrote: “Concerning the Jewish problem, for all my life I have been an anti-Semite.
“I have never had contact with Jews. I have considered it intolerable that here in Hungary everything, every factory, bank, large fortune, business, theatre, press, commerce, etc. should be in Jewish hands, and that the Jew should be the image reflected of Hungary, especially abroad.
“To replace the Jews, who have everything in their hands…requires a generation at least”.
Despite the controversial history of the medal, Mr Gorka said he wore it in memory of his family and the suffering they endured. He said his father has been tortured and imprisoned by Hungarian communists in the late 1940s after he founded “underground organisations of pro-democracy, anti-Communists to work about the Soviet dictatorship”.
In a video released by far-right website Breitbart News, he said: “In 1979 my father was awarded a decoration for his resistance to dictatorship and, 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.
The medal “reminds me of what they suffered under the Nazis and under the communists”, he said.
“I’m a proud American now and I wear that medal now and again. Why? To remind myself where I came from, what my parents suffered under both the Nazis and communists and to help me in my work today, because as far as I’m concerned groups like the Islamic state, like Al-Qaida, they’re just another kind of totalitarian.
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued
1/9 Trump and the media
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer takes questions during the daily press briefing
2/9 Trump and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Union leaders applaud US President Donald Trump for signing an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington DC. Mr Trump issued a presidential memorandum in January announcing that the US would withdraw from the trade deal
3/9 Trump and the Mexico wall
A US Border Patrol vehicle sits waiting for illegal immigrants at a fence opening near the US-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas. The number of incoming immigrants has surged ahead of the upcoming Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. A signature campaign promise, Mr Trump outlined his intention to build a border wall on the US-Mexico border days after taking office
4/9 Trump and abortion
US President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on in the Oval Office of the White House. Mr Trump reinstated a ban on American financial aide being granted to non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counseling, provide abortion referrals, or advocate for abortion access outside of the United States
5/9 Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline
Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest US President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York. US President Donald Trump signed executive orders reviving the construction of two controversial oil pipelines, but said the projects would be subject to renegotiation
6/9 Trump and 'Obamacare'
Nancy Pelosi who is the minority leader of the House of Representatives speaks beside House Democrats at an event to protect the Affordable Care Act in Los Angeles, California. US President Donald Trump's effort to make good on his campaign promise to repeal and replace the healthcare law failed when Republicans failed to get enough votes. Mr Trump has promised to revisit the matter
7/9 Donald Trump and 'sanctuary cities'
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January threatening to pull funding for so-called "sanctuary cities" if they do not comply with federal immigration law
8/9 Trump and the travel ban
US President Donald Trump has attempted twice to restrict travel into the United States from several predominantly Muslim countries. The first attempt, in February, was met with swift opposition from protesters who flocked to airports around the country. That travel ban was later blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The second ban was blocked by a federal judge a day before it was scheduled to be implemented in mid-March
SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images
9/9 Trump and climate change
US President Donald Trump sought to dismantle several of his predecessor's actions on climate change in March. His order instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate the Clean Power Plan, which would cap power plant emissions
“They’re not communists, they’re not Nazis but they will enslave or kill you if you disagree with them. That’s my story.”
Mr Gorka reportedly has his own allegiance to Vitezi Rend. He has been known to sign his name, including on his PhD dissertation, as “Sebestyen L. v. Gorka”. Experts have said the initials “L.v” are used by those granted membership of the order and, when they die, by their oldest son.
Before joining Mr Trump’s team, Mr Gorka worked as a professor at the Institute of World Politics in Washington and as national security editor of Breitbart.
He was arrested in January 2016 after trying to board a plane with a 9mm pistol, charged with a weapons offence and is set to appear before a judge later this month.Reuse content