WION New Delhi, Delhi, India
Mar 16, 2017, 05.21 PM
Donald Trump's top counter-terrorism adviser, Sebastian Gorka, pledged lifelong membership to the elite order of a Hungarian far-right group called the Vitézi Rend--the US State Department lists them as having been "under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany" during World War II, two top leaders of the group have told the Forward.
In addition to breaking the news, the Forward gives some important historical background on the group: The order was established as a loyalist group who ruled over Hungary for two decades before the war. It was founded by Admiral Miklos Horthy, a self-confessed anti-semite who colloborated with Hitler and the Nazi regime, including turning over hundreds of thousands of Jews to the Nazis.
The Forward explains that the group that Gorka belongs to is a derivative of the original group banned in the US since 1989, and that two groups claim to be the heirs to the original Vitézi Rend. More, the Forward says the group to which Gorka belongs is not known to engage in violence, but upholds the nationalist and racial principles of the original group fouded by Admiral Horthy.
Gorka did not respond to multiple emails to his work and private accounts about his involvement in the group, nor has the White House released a statement, the Forward reports.
In addition to the bad press that is sure to follow the news that a member of a Nazi group is advising President Trump on counter-terrorism, this may have implications for Gorka's immigration and citizenship status.
The State Department's Foreign Affairs Manual states that members of Gorka's group are "presumed to be inadmissible to the US under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Forward reports.
The Forward published the oath that members of the Vitézi Rend are required to swear by:
"I, Vitez [name], swear on the Holy Crown that I know the Oder'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."
Prior to entering the White House, Gorka claimed to be an expert on Islamic State, but has written no peer-reviewed papers, does not speak Arabic, and has never lived in a Muslim-majority country, the Forward reports.
Gorka also worked at the far-right website Breitbart. Other White House staff who worked at Breitbart include Chief stategist Steve Bannon, who was Breitbart's editor in chief, and Julia Hahn, who covered immigration through what CNN characterises as an "aggressively anti-immigration lens.