Sebastian Gorka tried to make it sound like his firing was really a resignation.

Sebastian Gorka Worked Hard to Make it Sound Like His Firing Was Really a Resignation

Sebastian Gorka Worked Hard to Make it Sound Like His Firing Was Really a Resignation

The Slatest
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Aug. 26 2017 10:13 AM

Sebastian Gorka Worked Hard to Make it Sound Like His Firing Was a Resignation

White-House-Deputy-Assistant-To-The-President-Sebastian-Gorka-Speaks-With-Television-Reporter
Sebastian Gorka participates in a television interview outside the White House West Wing June 9, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sebastian Gorka, the nationalist White House adviser with a British accent and questionable credentials, is no longer working for President Donald Trump’s administration. In short, he was fired, as many people predicted he would be following Steve Bannon’s ouster from the White House. But if you were to believe Gorka’s version of events he actually resigned out of frustration of being surrounded by people who had no interest in making America great again.

Gorka, whose main role in the White House seemed to be to go on television and fight with journalists, tried to get in front of the story. Conservative website the Federalist was first to report on the move, publishing Gorkas scathing resignation letter. “It is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are—for now—ascendant within the White House,” Gorka wrote. “As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House.” Gorka took particular issue with the fact that Trump didn’t mention the words “Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism” in his Afghanistan speech on Monday.

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That led a White House official to issue a cryptic statement that had a clear undertone: Gorka was fired. “Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works at the White House,” the unnamed official said in a statement to reporters. That statement raised more than a few eyebrows. A Republican with close ties to the White House told BuzzFeed that the statement marked the “first time I have ever seen surrogate operations send out something like this.”

Gorka later told a reporter it was “disappointing” that the White House was saying he was fired because “I resigned.” There is at least one White House official who seems to agree with Gorka’s version of events, saying he submitted his resignation letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Others say Gorka did resign but only after he was told Kelly had revoked his security clearance, which would have made it impossible for him to continue his job at the White House. Others, however, pointed out that Gorka’s claims that he resigned of his own accord are hardly believable considering he had been on vacation for at least the last two weeks.

To be fair, many in the White House weren’t exactly clear what Gorka’s job was anyway. “Other than as a talking head on TV, Gorka was fairly inconsequential,” an administration official told the Daily Beast. It’s little wonder considering most saw him as profoundly unqualified for the job he held. Even his PhD adviser told CNN that “I would not call him an expert on terrorism,” adding that “his level of expertise does not match the level where he stands in the White House.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.