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Jewish organizations call for Trump aide's resignation

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 2017-03-16 Jessica Estepa

© Provided by USA Today

Jewish organizations called for the resignation of Trump aide Sebastian Gorka, after reports that Gorka has ties to a far-right group in Hungary.

The Forward reported Thursday that Gorka, President Trump's counter-terrorism adviser, is a formal member of Vitézi Rend, a group that is listed by the State Department as an organization that is under the direction of Nazi Germany.

The group, according to The Forward, was established as a loyalist group by the admiral and nationalist who ruled over Hungary from 1920 to 1944. The ruler, Miklos Horthy, was a Nazi ally.

When contacted about The Forward's story by Buzzfeed, Gorka referred questions to the White House press office.

The White House has not yet issued a statement on the story.

The Anne Frank Center, which has been critical of the Trump administration, said Gorka should resign or be fired.

"Sebastian Gorka must resign — and President Trump must make it happen," executive director Steven Goldstein said in a statement. "That Sebastian cannot even deny he has links with a Nazi-affiliated organization is symptomatic of the grotesque anti-Semitism that has infected the White House. How many ducks in the Trump White House must walk, talk and quack anti-Semitically before our country wakes up and sees the problem?"

The National Jewish Democratic Council, a political lobbying firm in Washington, said Trump should fire Gorka.

"Donald Trump has repeatedly said that the United States needs to implement, 'extreme vetting,' in order to determine if we should allow certain immigrants into our country," the group said in a statement. "And yet, it seems like he failed to vet one of his most trusted advisers."

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., tweeted at the president and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, asking, "What say u?"

"White House & Gorka's silence in response is deafening," the Jewish member of Congress said in a tweet.

Prior to joining the Trump administration, Gorka worked for Stephen Bannon at Breitbart. According to his biography on the Institute for World Politics, he was born in the United Kingdom to parents who escaped Hungary during the country's 1956 revolution.

Reports have previously linked Gorka to Vitezi Rend, when he wore a medal said to be associated with the group.

In a video released by Breitbart News in February, Gorka said the medal was awarded to his father in 1979 for "for his resistance to dictatorship." Wearing the medal reminds him of what his family suffered under the Nazis and under the Communists, he said.

"I wear that medal in remembrance of what my family went through and what it represents today, to me, as an American," he said in the video.



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