The White House announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump plans to appoint former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka to be a member of the National Security Education Board.
The 14-member board oversees a government program that awards scholarships and fellowships to students and offers grants to colleges and universities to address “the national need for experts in critical languages and regions.” In its mission statement, NSEP says one of its goals is to “produce an increased pool of applicants for work in the departments and agencies of the United States Government with national security responsibilities.”
The board is made up of six presidential appointees and a number of other representatives from across the administration.
Gorka, a former deputy assistant to the president, left the administration in 2017 after then-White House chief of staff John Kelly took over and cleaned house. At the time, the White House put out an unattributed statement saying that Gorka did not resign, but no longer was on staff and no longer had access to the White House grounds.
In 2017, CNN interviewed a dozen international security and terrorism experts and scholars who said Gorka’s experience in their field is limited. They pointed out that Gorka does not speak Arabic, has done very little traveling in Muslim countries and has never worked in any official leadership or management role in foreign policy, intelligence or the military.
Gorka was, and has remained, one of Trump’s most prominent cheerleaders, frequently hitting the airwaves to defend the President’s policies and public statements. But his role outside of television appearances was unclear. He did not play a major policymaking role, according to administration officials, and was not a member of the National Security Council.
Gorka’s work for Trump goes back as far as 2015; Federal Election Commission filings showed that Gorka was paid $8,000 that October to be a policy consultant for the Trump campaign.
A CNN K-File review of Gorka’s public comments throughout the presidential campaign shows that even after his work for Trump, the former Breitbart national security editor offered stinging critiques of his future boss’s rhetoric on key foreign policy issues from terrorism to Russia and China.
Gorka, a US citizen who was born in Britain and has Hungarian parents, was known for his dire warnings of Islamic terrorism while at Breitbart.
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