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Trump appoints 'white nationalist' radio host Sebastian Gorka to education board

Sebastian Gorka at the CPAC 2019 conference [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 July, 2020

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Trump's pick for the National Security Education Board has been widely panned by critics who say Sebastian Gorka is a white nationalist with little relevant experience for the role

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US President Donald Trump is set to appoint his former aide Sebastian Gorka, a far-right media personality with ties to a neo-Nazi group, as a member of the National Security Education Board, the White House announced on Tuesday.

Gorka will serve a four-year term on the 14-member board, which oversees a government programme that provides scholarships to US citizens and grants to colleges to incentivise language learning for national security purposes. 

The board includes six presidential appointees, which the programme's website says can be experts from NGOs and academia.

The move was strongly criticised by Trump's opponents, including Democratic Representative Don Beyer.

"A white nationalist like Gorka would have no place in any decent presidential administration," Beyer tweeted. "For Trump racism and fascism are a feature, not a bug."

A former Breitbart contributor and host of a pro-Trump radio show, Gorka is a national security analyst specialised in studying Islamic extremism. He has been criticised for claiming Islam is an inherently violent religion.

CNN investigation in 2017 revealed that Gorka does not speak Arabic, has spent little time in Muslim countries, and had never held an official leadership or management role in foreign policy or intelligence.

Read also: Stephen Miller goes on a mission to make America white again

Gorka worked as a deputy assistant to the president for less than a year, leaving acrimoniously in 2017. He worked alongside Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner in an internal foreign policy think tank known as the Strategic Initiatives Group.

Gorka, a naturalised US citizen, born in the UK to Hungarian parents, said in 2017 he had resigned from his post in the Trump administration, but the White House refuted the claim.

Gorka in 2007 declared his support for the Hungarian Guard, a nationalist paramilitary group widely described as neo-Nazi.

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