My father was betrayed as a Hungarian anti-Communist by Kim Philby, arrested, tortured by the secret police, and given a life sentence at the age of 20. He was liberated by freedom fighters in the 1956 Revolution and made it out to the West. So the verbal attacks of the media are just that: words.
What discipline do you enjoy shooting most?
SG: As a kid I loved long-range prone position rifle shooting at Bisley in the U.K. Once a month, my dad and I would make the trip and shoot 7.62 bolt actions with iron aperture sights at 1,000 yards. I loved the delay between the ignition and the bullet hitting the butts.
Ever shot a competition? How’d you do?
SG: Nowadays not so much. My shooting is recreational and training courses. Back in the day, though, I shot in my local club in West London. I held my own — more with pistol than rifle. Today, my favorite discipline is competing with my son with any firearm at the range. I think he’s got the edge now, as it should be.
About how many guns do you own, and how do you describe your collection?
SG: Many. And not enough. I’ll call it eclectic. Many, many modern handguns, but also the odd SW 1917, Webley 38, PPK, etc. Modern military rifles, more AKs than ARs, but my love is the FAL. I have a particular soft spot for snubbies in .44 and .41 magnum. And, .22 rifles — I love plinking all day with a .22. I never grew up.
SG: Anything I salivated over as a kid in the ’80s as I thumbed through Combat Handguns magazine, and the late great British publication Handgunner … and which I can now actually afford. Number one: my Bren Ten with extra .45 slide. My SPAS-12. My Astra Terminator. My original .44 Auto Mag. And, my Pardini GT-45. It isn’t from the ’80s, but it’s sublime. Also, love my AKs from Krebs, especially my Krink.
On the Beretta range with the M9A3
What about silencers?
SG: My favorite shooting is walking off the porch of our summerhouse up north, surrounded by 300 acres of private forest, and going freestyle on steel plates. It’s a lot more fun without hearing protection. Also a much easier and social activity with cans when you have guests and are trying to teach them too.
With Eastern Bloc family ties, serving in the British Territorial Army, and now living in the U.S., you must have some perspective on the AK versus AR debate, as well as the European versus U.S. firearm design debate?
SG: No. For me it’s always about caliber. I have numerous AR-type rifles, but I still detest the .223. I mean, just take a round in your hand and look at it! It’s so small. For me, if I had to choose one rifle it would have to launch a .30 projectile. Also, the direct impingement system is so weird. I mean, releasing gases into the mechanism without a piston? Come on!
I’m a proud American now, and I love my U.S. wheelguns, but do like European aesthetics. Just put a Pardini GT45 in your hand, and tell me it isn’t an ergonomic and mechanical masterpiece.
Gorka is unenthusiastic about the AR-15 and its “puny” .223, but gets excited about the AR platform when they step up in caliber. Here he’s shooting the Nemo Arms Omen in .300 Win Mag.
Choose one: side folder, underfolder, or fixed? Explain your reasoning.
SG: Side! I cut my teeth in the Territorial Army on the FAL, and I think the Para-style (Galil) stock is the best. No question. And the only workable underfolder is the Sterling. I love the Sterling.
What’s the first gun you bought?
SG: The first gun my father bought for me in the U.K. was a beautiful target Anschutz .22 with all the paraphernalia. I think it was a Model 54. And the first full-bore gun my dad bought for us to shoot was a factory nickel-plated S&W Mod 39. I miss it.
Latest gun acquisition?
SG: Steyr GB. I’m reliving the ’80s! I had one that I regretted selling to a friend. It’s a real hog leg, but just iconic.
How does the Second Amendment contribute to National Security?
SG: That’s easy to answer. Just look at the Sudanese Church attack yesterday in Tennessee. A private citizen stopped that one fatality becoming a massacre. Imagine if just one of the state employees at the Christmas party in San Bernardino had been armed. Many of those killed by the husband and wife Jihadist team would likely be alive today.
My former colleague AWR Hawkins at Breibart.com does an amazing job of chronicling how private citizens save lives every day by practicing their Second Amendment rights.
Aside from issues of crime, is there a danger in taking guns away from Americans?
SG: Yes. The Second Amendment isn’t ultimately about stopping rapists or bank robbers. It’s about the people’s last line of defense against a strategic level threat. It’s not about hunting whitetails.
Sebastian Gorka, former advisor to Preisdent Trump, at his home in McLean, Va. on Sept. 27, 2017. (Mike Morones for RECOIL)
Is there a disconnect between the way rural and urban Americans view the Second Amendment? What shapes gun policy, rural or urban issues?
SG: Undoubtedly. In rural areas, a gun is most often correctly understood as a tool. To the majority of those living in urban areas today, a gun is an object mystically and irrationally endowed with evil intent.
Is national reciprocity a priority for the Administration?
SG: It’s early to say. But I know it is a priority for Wayne LaPierre and the NRA, which was the first national organization to endorse candidate Trump. Wayne has done incredible things for all Americans, and I was very happy to bump into him in the White House very early on after the Make America Great Again Team moved in.
What about getting rid of the NFA, and making silencers an over-the-counter commodity?
SG: Again, early days. However, if we look at how the president’s son, Don Jr., has tirelessly advocated for bringing reason and common sense back into this issue, I think we should all be optimistic. Just think how a scant five years ago suppressors were rarely discussed and even more unusual on the range. That has all changed.
Both Eric and Don keep a scrupulous firewall between themselves and their father. So they’re doing what they’re doing as private citizens. But we haven’t had somebody with that kind of name recognition embrace these issues in recent years.
Which are we more likely to see, national reciprocity or over-the-counter silencers? How long till we see one or both?
SG: Hmm, that’s a tough one. My gut tells me suppressors first then reciprocity.
What’s a typical day in the White House, and how much coffee do you drink?
SG: I don’t drink coffee. (At least not rubbish like Starbucks). I’m into Turkish coffee, with the grounds in it. But I regularly drink British tea. Typhoo. The Empire was built on it.
There’s no such thing as an average day in the White House, or standard work hours. My work rotated between classified NSC meetings on a current issue (ISIS, Qatar Crisis, China, etc.), meeting our foreign national security counterparts visiting the White House, doing media hits for the president (CNN, MSNBC, and BBC were the most fun — they always brought a knife to a gunfight), or being in the Oval to consult with the president on the most urgent issue, such as whether to recertify the Iran deal or not. It was a dream. I pinched myself every day.
When it got serious. With candidate Trump in Milwaukee in 2016
Who’s the most interesting figure you met at the White House?
SG: There are too many to choose … You’d walk into the West Lobby and bump into Dr. Kissinger, for example, or a fascinating rabbi visiting from Israel with a group of high schoolers visiting the White House. But two stand out. Vice President Pence was a delight. I would see him almost every day. He would always stop to talk. And, not chitchat. Real stuff. He’s a true gentleman in the original sense. I look forward to eight years of President Pence after eight years of President Trump.
But, best of all were my interactions with the officers and agents of the U.S. Secret Service. They were always engaging and professional. [Leans in] Officer Mark! If you’re reading this, keep on truckin’!
Did the controversy around the president’s response to the Charlottesville violence have something to do with your departure?
SG: Zero. I was on vacation when that happened. My resignation was triggered by the speech the NSC wrote for the president on Afghanistan, which had no mention of the key phrase: “radical Islamic terrorism.” That’s when I knew I could do more for the Commander-in-Chief on the outside.
Depending on the news source, you resigned or were fired?
SG: Resigned. It’s all there in my letter to the president that you can read at Breitbart.com. The MAGA movement has simply moved outside the building, and we will continue to support the president against the swamp dwellers surrounding him and obstructing him on The Hill. It’s about the long game — eight years, not eight months.
What do you say to people who insist you were fired?
SG: I couldn’t care less about this fake news. I know exactly what I said to General [John] Kelly the day I resigned and what I wrote in my resignation letter to the president.
What do you have to say to those who attacked you and your credibility during and after your time in the White House?
SG: They start under a false assumption. I never craved, nor will I ever want, the recognition of the establishment. The establishment experts are the people who promoted dumb wars and saddled us with $20 trillion in debt. The only recognition I need is from the thousands of Special Forces, Special Operations, U.S. Marine Corps, and law enforcement operators I’ve had the honor of working with since moving to America. The swamp dwellers and talking heads are utterly irrelevant to me.
What about the accusation that you are an anti-Semite and a member of a Hungarian Neo-Nazi organization?
SG: My father, as a teenage boy, protected his fellow Jewish schoolmates from the German occupation forces on the way to school every day. I have always been a loyal friend to the country of Israel and the Jewish community in America. Why do people say this about me? When you can’t argue your side logically you race bait; they did it with the president, with Steve Bannon, and they did it with me. I’ve been alive for 47 years, and I’ve challenged these people to find one thing that’s racist or anti-Semitic — and they never could. What does that tell you?
What are you most proud of accomplishing as part of the administration?
SG: Keeping the Travel Moratorium alive despite all those who wish to endanger our nation in the name of “multiculturalism.” And, I know for Steve, getting us out of the insanity that was the Paris Climate Change Accord was a massive accomplishment.
First time meeting Donald Trump, NY 2015.
Whom do you trust for news these days?
SG: The media has changed. Read Andrew Breitbart’s seminal book Righteous Indignation; we are all producers of copy today. If you have a mobile phone you’re a citizen journalist. The problem today is the fake news industrial complex. When CNN, MSNBC, Politico, Huffington Post, New York Times, and Washington Post are so politically demented that they actually stated on election night that Hillary Clinton had a 90- to 96-percent chance of winning, you know something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Too much of what we call mainstream today is all about a political agenda, sensationalism, and profits for corporate owners. Not too long ago media concerns lost money by design because they were performing a service. Now it’s your job to keep them straight, dear reader.
What about Russian interference in the U.S. election and the special counsel? Is this an important topic?
SG: Only for the Loony Left that’s been, ironically, in bed with Moscow since 1917. The Kremlin has been mucking around in democratic elections around the world since its inception. That’s not news. But the idea that the Trump campaign was in bed with Vlad is pure fantasy. It’s just yet another way for the losing candidate to ignore her own culpability for her abysmal performance.
What’s caused the erosion of trust in the media?
SG: Their transparently partisan behavior. When you accuse the president of being an anti-Semite when the man’s grandchildren are Orthodox Jews, the American people just switch off — and rightly so.
Where on the political spectrum do conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones reside?
SG: I love conspiracy theories as diverting entertainment. But there’s a reason they’re called conspiracies and not facts. Professional conspiracy theorists are a menace. Propagating dark theories about the world without actual proof kills the mind and can lead to very dangerous consequences. It’s not an accident that outrageous forgeries and smears such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are still printed and widely available in the Middle East, for example. Conspiracy theories are dangerous. Those who propagate them should be shunned.
How deep and dangerous is The Swamp? Can it be drained?
SG: Heard of the Mariana Trench? DC is deeper. With Trump as president and us on his side, though, it can be done.
As an immigrant, you must have strong feelings on President Trump’s plan to erect a wall along our southern border?
SG: Yes. It’s vital. Do you lock your doors at night? America is a home. We need to secure it, especially in the interests of our most vulnerable minority communities and recent legal immigrants, who suffer the greatest when illegal immigrants flood in and steal their jobs.
Why do we place so much more weight on national politics when local politics directly affect us? Is this a uniquely American thing?
SG: Wow, great question. I wish we didn’t. Read de Tocqueville. America’s true identity and strength comes from its local sense of community and local volunteerism. Why are we where we are today? The media.
Gorka’s Career Highlights
> Regular instructor for the J. F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, USASOC, Fort Bragg
> Former Strategist and Deputy Assistant to President Donald J. Trump
> Former Major General Horner Chair of Military Theory, Marine Corps University, Quantico
> Former Associate Dean for Congressional Affairs and Relations to the Special Operations Community, National Defense University, Fort McNair
> Expert for the U.S. Department of Justice on the Boston Bombing Trial
> Currently, Chief Strategist, Make America Great Again (www.magacoalition.com)
Born: 1970, London
Family: Happily married with a grown son and daughter
Pets: Belgian Tervuren Shepherd named Killian
Dogs or Cats: I like all dogs. Only some cats.
Teacher Comments on your 5th Grade Report Card: Could try harder. “Skates.”
Last Read: The Hundred-Year Marathon by Michael Pillsbury
Favorite Film:Blade Runner
Favorite TV Show: Longmire
Favorite Restaurant: La Diplomat in D.C.
Favorite Firearm: Short-barreled Krebbs Customs AK chambered in 7.62×39
Favorite AK Magazine: Original Bulgarian “10-ring” or US Palm AK30
Dream Car: Aston Martin V-8 Vantage Volante
Favorite Cheeseburger: Cheeseburgers from the Navy Mess, under the West Wing
Sebastian Gorka’s Everyday Carry
Sebastian Gorka, former advisor to Preisdent Trump, at his home in McLean, Va. on Sept. 27, 2017. (Mike Morones for RECOIL)
Pistol: Glock 29, customized by Robar Guns with a SharkTac trigger guard cover, or;
Pistol: Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm full-size with RDS and compact frame customized by Robar Guns carried in a holster by DH Custom Leather
Flashlight: Surefire 6P and a thin penlight (for polite work)
Fire: Commemorative MFO Zippo lighter bought while visiting the Sinai in 1991 and retrofitted with a jet insert to light cigars
Medical: C-A-T Tourniquet. “I can deploy it with one hand.”
Blade: CRKT Hissatsu
Power: USB battery charger for mobile phone
Reference: “I never go anywhere without my copy of the Constitution, the owner’s manual to the greatest nation on God’s earth.”