(photo credit: GAGE SKIDMORE,Wikimedia Commons)
A number of Jewish organizations have called for the resignation of a Trump administration aide after a report surfaced that claimed that he had ties to an antisemitic group in Hungary, The Forward reported Thursday.
Sebastian Gorka, a counter-terrorism adviser to US President Donald Trump, is reportedly a member of Vitezi Rend, listed by the US State Department as a group affiliated with Nazi Germany.
The group was founded by Miklos Horthy, a Nazi ally who ruled Hungary from 1920 to 1944.
Contacted by Buzzfeed
following The Forward
report, Gorka referred questions to the White House Press Office, who have yet to comment on the matter.The Forward
later received confirmation from the leader of the Historical Vitézi Rend organization stating that Gorka is still a member.
Gorka, however, has previously denied any affiliation with the group, as reported by Tablet Magazine.
"I have never been a member of the Vitez Rend," he told Tablet.
"I have never taken an oath of loyalty to the Vitez Rend. Since childhood, I have occasionally worn my father’s medal and used the ‘v.’ initial to honor his struggle against totalitarianism."
Gorka has previously stated that his father was awarded the medal in 1979 for his "for his resistance to dictatorship."
"I wear that medal in remembrance of what my family went through and what it represents today, to me, as an American," Gorka said in a video released by Breitbart News in February.
The revelation has stoked calls from Jewish organizations for him to resign from the administration.
"Sebastian Gorka must resign — and President Trump must make it happen," executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, Steven Goldstein, said in a statement prior to Gorka's interview with Tablet.
"That Sebastian cannot even deny he has links with a Nazi-affiliated organization," the statement added, "is symptomatic of the grotesque anti-Semitism that has infected the White House."
"How many ducks in the Trump White House must walk, talk and quack anti-Semitically before our country wakes up and sees the problem?"
The National Jewish Democratic Council, a Washington DC-based political lobbying group, also called for Gorka's resignation.
"Donald Trump has repeatedly said that the United States needs to implement 'extreme vetting' in order to determine if we should allow certain immigrants into our country," the group said in a statement. "And yet, it seems like he failed to vet one of his most trusted advisers."
Rabbi Jack Moline, President of Interfaith Alliance, later called on the White House to "clean house," following reports of Gorka's "extensive and troubling" ties to the Hungarian far-Right group.
Jewish US Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) also stated on social media that the "White House & Gorka's silence in response is deafening" in a tweet following the revelation.
Gorka, who previously worked for White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon at Breitbart News, was born in the United Kingdom to Hungarian parents who fled the country during the nation's 1956 revolution, according to his biography on the Institute for World Politics.