Trump names former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka to defense education body


WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump named Sebastian Gorka to a committee that promotes national security through the education system.

A onetime White House staffer, Gorka had come under fire for his associations with the Hungarian far-right.

On Tuesday, Trump named Gorka to the National Security Education Board, which oversees the National Security Education Program, a congressionally mandated program that dispenses grants and scholarships to promote study in areas of critical national security interest.

Gorka worked in the White House for six months at the beginning of Trump’s term as an adviser on counterterrorism, although he lacked the security clearance necessary for employment on the National Security Council.

He left after a number of controversies, including flaunting his associations with Vitez Rend, a movement founded by the anti-Semitic prewar Hungarian leader Miklos Horthy. Gorka said he was celebrating his father’s postwar association with the group when it was known more for its anti-communist resistance than its World War II-era activities.

A number of Democrats in Congress had during Gorka’s brief White House tenure raised concerns about his purported associations with Vitez Rend and a far-right group in present-day Hungary with a similar name.

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