After Sebastian Gorka's Departure, White House Official Hints He Was Fired

Statement contradicts reports regarding Sebastian Gorka's fate, which presented the circumstances surrounding his dismissal from the White House as a personal resignation

Deputy assistant to President Trump Sebastian Gorka participates in the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 24, 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland.
ALEX WONG/AFP

WASHINGTON - Sebastian Gorka, U.S. President Trump's deputy assistant and adviser, did not resign, according to a White House official, hinting that the termination of his employment was a decision made by others. The official said in a short statement released after news of Gorka's dismissal broke out: "Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works at the White House." 

The statement contradicted the first reports regarding Gorka's fate on Friday evening, which presented the circumstances surrounding his dismissal from the White House as a personal resignation. The Federalist, a conservative news outlet, published a resignation letter in which Gorka told President Trump that he would be able to "better serve him" from outside of the White House. 

The statment released later by the White House made it clear that Gorka's exit came under more complicated circumstances, and not as a result of his own initiative. The New York Times reported that Gorka was effectively "forced out" by Trump's chief of staff, retired General John Kelly, after having been on vacation for the last two weeks. Politico also reported that while the resignation letter was genuine, Kelly in fact ousted Gorka from the White House.

One reason that caused Kelly to show Gorka the door, according these reports, was a statment Gorka recently made ridiculing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Gorka said in an interview two weeks ago that it would be "nonsensical" for Tillerson to discuss the military situation with regards to North Korea. This was an unusual remark for a White House staffer, working on the same administration with the Secretary of State. It received attention in the media specifically because there have been multiple reports that Gorka himself, while discussing national security affairs on behalf of the administration on television, did not in fact have Security clearance.