Sci-tech

Democratic senators call for investigation into Trump aide Sebastian Gorka

Democratic senators call for investigation into Trump aide Sebastian Gorka

But Mr Gorka denied any anti-Semitism in his family.

It's been a tough media weekend for Sebastian Gorka, the deputy assistant to the president who was the subject of an article in the Forward about his membership of a Nazi-allied group in Hungary.

The report quotes two current members of the the Vitézi Rend confirming that Gorka had taken an oath swearing allegiance to the group and to Hungary, and notes that he has occasionally presented his name as Sebastian L. v. Gorka, the "v." being a symbol used by Vitézi Rend members.

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The Forward reported on Thursday that Gorka was a formal member of the Historical Vitézi Rend, a Hungarian far-right group whose predecessor, the Vitézi Rend, was recognized by the State Department as under the direction of the Nazis. The original order was established by Miklós Horthy, a Hungarian admiral and statesman whose regime deported hundreds of thousands of Jews to concentration camps during World War II. I never betrayed my Hungarianness, and was never and am not now a member of an anti-national or secret organization. Gorka defended the medal by claiming he wore it to honor his father's struggle against communist rule in Hungary.

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.

Gorka has previously stated that his father was awarded the medal in 1979 for his "for his resistance to dictatorship".

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"That Sebastian can not even deny he has links with a Nazi-affiliated organization is symptomatic of the grotesque anti-Semitism that has infected the White House", Anne Frank Center executive director Steven Goldstein said in a statement.

The senators said in the letter their concerns about Gorka are aggravated by "the White House's own checkered record on religious discrimination".

The National Jewish Democratic Council said that Trump, who has called for "extreme vetting" of immigrants, "seems like he failed to vet one of his most trusted advisers".

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Rep. Jerrold Nadler's (D-NY) letter to President Donald Trump cited a report in the Forward that an offshoot of the now-defunct Vitézi Rend, or Order of Vitéz, claims Gorka as a sworn member.