Since last year's presidential election, media outlets have been reporting on U.S. government investigations into possible use of U.S. social media and "fake news" by Russia to influence American voters in the election. But former White House senior strategist Sebastian Gorka said media outlets should also look to their own organizations to see bias and fake news permeating the fourth estate.
"Fake news or what my White House colleague called the fake news industrial complex, is real," said Gorka, in a one-on-one interview with Circa. His White House colleague, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, resigned in early August and returned to Breitbart News as executive chairman.
Gorka served roughly seven months as deputy assistant to President Trump, alongside Bannon, before he resigned from the post in August, amid Trump administration turmoil. After his departure from the White House, Gorka took a position as chief strategist at the Make America Great Again Coalition, a political group named after Trump's campaign slogan.
He said fake news is "not a Twitter catchphrase."
"It is a real problem with the mainstream media in America today and elsewhere," he said. "How do I know this? 'Cause I've been the victim of it and so has the President."
It's a devil that's been painted on the wall
Gorka hit back at Buzzfeed's article Alt-White: how the Breitbart Machine Laundered Racist Hate, which alleges that during the presidential campaign, under Bannon, Breitbart courted the alt-right movement to help Trump win the election.
"It's a devil that's been painted on the wall," said Gorka, with regard to the term alt-right. "I don't even believe the word means anything concrete."
He said, "there are racists in America. There are neo-Nazis. There are people who think they are the KKK reborn. We need to treat those people as they deserve to be treated and shun them from normal society."
Gorka said there "is no place for race-based hatred in America. I think that the threat is exaggerated. There is antisemitism in America but how many registered members of the KKK are there in America? Maybe 6,000. Maybe 6,000 out of 330 million. We have to deal with much bigger issues. We have to deal with a political party, and I mean the Democrat party, that looks at all of us based upon our race and our skin color."
Gorka pointed out to comments made by former First Lady Michelle Obama last week when she stated that the Republican Party essentially “all men, all white.”
"Why would you even use descriptors like that," he said. "I don't look at anybody based upon their skin color. I look at how they act and whether it comports with what they say. I've had enough of eight years of divisiveness."
Gorka said he does not judge "somebody based upon their sexual preference, neither does Steve. I don't look at somebody based upon whether they have an accent or where they came from. I look at whether they share the values upon which this public was founded, and as a result I think the alt-right is a political tool for people who want to keep dividing us."
Can you imagine if, if Melania Trump had been married to President Obama
Gorka said media double standards exist and are evident.
He noted that journalists coverage of First Lady Melania Trump is comparably different former First Lady Michelle Obama.
"Can you imagine if, if Melania Trump had been married to President Obama," Gorka said. "I mean every step she took, every outfit she put on, they would have been cascading articles about the beauty of her high-heeled shoes as she got on to Marine One. If she had been President Obama's wife. But why is she suddenly to be vilified? Why aren't there front page articles about this paragon of elegance not being published today?"
Gorka says he has seen his share of vilifying stories about himself, including false news articles calling him a neo-Nazi, among other disparaging names, and notes they are par for the course in what's happening with media outlets who vehemently opposed Trump's win.
But when media outlets target his family, the president's family and the president himself with false or misleading stories, he says it degrades American's faith in the media and diminishes the crucial role it has in a democracy.
"When you have people who call themselves journalists attack the reputation of my dead mother, attack my wife and then attack my teenage high school son and call him a traitor to the right in a headline of their article, that's beyond the pail," Gorka said.
He said there are some "journalists today who are morally bankrupt."
"They spent months calling me, Steve [Bannon], the President racists and anti-Semites, okay? My father protected his Jewish schoolmates on the way to school in the 1940s in Hungary to stop them being beaten up by German occupational forces," he added.
"There is not one sentence, and I challenge the press, not one sentence you can find me ever having written or said, that is antisemitic or against Israel," he added.
"Bannon and the President don't have a racist molecule in their bodies," Gorka said. "Steve Bannon's best friend was Andrew Breitbart who was raised Jewish. The CEO of Breitbart today is Larry Solov who is Jewish," Gorka said. "The senior, editor in Los Angeles is Joel Pollock who is an Orthodox Jew. It is, it is the worst smear. It's just a blood libel, really, against these individuals, against the President and Steve Bannon."
Gorka recently wrote an op-ed about the Iran Deal he is distributing to news organizations titled: Mr. President: Use Truth to kill the JCPOA," (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).