Donald Trump

Gorkagate Fizzles Out

By Jordan Brunner
Friday, February 3, 2017, 12:03 PM

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Sebastian Gorka, a former national security and terrorism editor at Breitbart who now serves as an advisor to Steve Bannon on the National Security Council, had been detained by TSA agents for trying to carry a gun onto a plane at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Gorka was charged last January in Virginia state court with carrying a weapon in an airport terminal, a misdemeanor offense. The charge was dropped today during his sentencing hearing at the Arlington County Circuit Court—likely marking the first time that an NSC staffer has announced his White House appointment and been called before a court on a weapons charge in the same week.

Gorka is known for his hard-line views on combatting terrorism and for his hostile approach to Islam. This morning on NPR, he refused to confirm whether President Donald Trump believes Islam to be a religion. Notably, he has also defended alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election as helpful, saying that the Russian government should be thanked:

Gorka did not personally attend the sentencing hearing, though his attorney, Christopher Oprison, was present. Presiding Judge William T. Newman, Jr., Chief Judge of the Arlington County Circuit Court, announced that Gorka’s sentence was dismissed because it seemed that he had “complied with everything he needed to do,” having fulfilled the court’s earlier order to forfeit his weapon, pay court costs, and “be of general good behavior for six months” before his hearing. Gorka will now continue to work for Bannon on the NSC.