Fascists Within Trump White House Started Working to Protect White Nationalists Before Taking Office

by Mark Sumner –

Alexander and Katharine Gorka

Radical white supremacists have represented the greatest terrorist threat to America over the last 16 years, during which these extremists have been responsible for 26 attacks across the nation. That’s why the United States had programs in place to counter white nationalism and to deal with Americans radicalized by the violent rhetoric of these groups.

Had programs.

Because under Donald Trump the program for countering violent extremism has beencut and revamped to exclude white supremacists. That includes completely eliminating funding for the only group dedicated specifically to this threat.

Weeks before a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to three deaths and 19 injuries, the Trump administration revoked a grant to Life After Hate, a group that works to de-radicalize neo-Nazis.

The group had been awarded $400,000, but Trump aides stepped in before the money could actually be delivered. And who acted so quickly to make sure this threat was not addressed?

Trump aides, including Katharine Gorka, a controversial national security analyst known for her anti-Muslim rhetoric, were already working toward eliminating Life After Hate’s grant and to direct all funding toward fighting what the president has described as “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Gorka considered this so important that she began meetings before Trump took office to make sure that funding to address radical white supremacists was cut.

Gorka and her husband, Sebastian Gorka, also a Trump White House official, have collaborated on numerous writings about the threat of radical Islam. Though they have a large following within far-right circles ― they both have bylines at Breitbart News ― mainstream national security experts are either unfamiliar with or critical of their work.

That work includes outright lies meant to present themselves as experts on terrorism.

“Gorka’s thesis is about as legitimate as if he had been awarded it by Trump University,” says Andrew Reynolds, a professor at the University of North Carolina who looked into Gorka’s background.

Both Sebastian and Katherine Gorka get six-figure salaries as Trump aides. Katherine Gorka now works as an adviser at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where she can inflict maximum damage on American readiness to deal with extremist threats.

Within the government, multiple people—including actual, experienced security experts—have complained that the Gorkas don’t know what they are doing, and that their reports are littered with lies and fantasies. But the pair hold onto their posts through protection by Steve Bannon and by Donald Trump.

It’s no surprise that the Gorkas would support fascists in the United States. Since that’s exactly what they did in Hungary where both worked for a fascist think tank then for fascist dictator Viktor Orbán. Even in the White House, Sebastian Gorka continues to wear a medal from Vitézi Rend, a Hungarian group created by anti-Semitic Nazi sympathizers.

Mia Bloom, a widely published expert on terrorism and a professor at Georgia State University, recalls an encounter with Gorka on a terrorism panel at the Defense Intelligence Agency. “Gorka knows virtually nothing,” she says. “His views are a mixture of Islamophobia and racism.”

But Islamophobia and racism are exactly the views that are driving the White House. The Gorkas are able to defund programs against violent white supremacists and redirect that money into more anti-Islam programs, because those ideas are perfectly in line with Trump’s thinking.

On Tuesday, Trump retweeted posts from supporters of the ‘Unite the Right’ fascists. And not for the first time. Sebastian and Katherine Gorka may be defending white nationalist fascism from inside the White House, but they’re not doing it without Trump’s support.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos