Sebastian Gorka is out at the White House, but his wife, Katharine, remains a force in government, wielding more power than her husband ever did.
Buzzfeed, by John Hudson, Aug. 29, 2017:
A wide array of progressive groups claimed victory on Friday following the dismissal of White House aide Sebastian Gorka, a staunch critic of Islam whose ties to anti-Semitic groups in Hungary made him the target of a public campaign dedicated to his ouster.
But the most effective advocate of Gorka’s brand of hardline policies on Islam is still in the government: Katharine Gorka, his wife and the coauthor of scores of his policy papers. She’s staying on in her role as an adviser to the secretary of homeland security, officials tell BuzzFeed News.
Though less high-profile than her husband, who regularly appeared on television to defend the president with his plummy British accent and distinctive half-beard, half-goatee, Katharine arguably has had a bigger impact on US policy.
Unlike Sebastian, whose failure to obtain a permanent security clearance barred him from some policy discussions, Katharine has dived into the weeds, advising top officials at DHS on counterterror policies, drafting the department’s reports to Congress on terrorism recruitment, and trying to instill her anti-Islamist philosophy throughout the department.
To her supporters, she is the intellectual forebear of President Donald Trump’s promise to call out radical Islam by name and shun political correctness. She is credited with convincing the department to claw back hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for countering right-wing extremism and prioritizing the role of law enforcement in combating Islamic extremism. Her detractors accuse her of downplaying the threat of white nationalism and alienating Muslim communities who could be partners in US counter-extremism efforts.
“Katie is much more dangerous than Sebastian,” said Eric Rosand, a former senior State Department official responsible for programs on Countering Violent Extremism, or CVE. “She played a significant role in denying CVE grant funding to groups that work to de-radicalize neo-Nazis and other far right extremists and Muslim-American groups that work to build resilience against violent extremism, but without the involvement of the police.”