BERLIN — Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka appears to be no longer wanted for arrest by Hungarian police, according to media outlets in Budapest. Gorka, a Hungarian citizen, was long listed as “wanted” on the website of the country’s police, but his name has now disappeared from the site.
The outstanding arrest warrant became widely known in mid-January when a member of the public accidentally came across it in the police database. Gorka’s date of birth and other personal information matched those on the official Hungarian police website, and it was described as an active warrant at the time.
Gorka did not respond to text messages from The Washington Post seeking comment. A spokesman for the Hungarian government did not respond to detailed questions about Gorka’s case on Monday but appeared to confirm that the warrant was no longer active. “There is no further development to be expected regarding the Hungarian warrant,” the spokesman wrote in an emailed response, citing the police department responsible for Gorka’s case.
The original entry listed few details, but it appeared to indicate that the warrant stemmed from an incident of “firearm or ammunition abuse” and was issued in September 2016, less than two months before Donald Trump was elected president. The warrant had apparently remained active since that time, including during Gorka’s brief tenure as a White House adviser on counterterrorism.
It remained unclear when the alleged crime was committed, but Hungarian website 444, which first reported the warrant as well as its subsequent disappearance, said it could have been in 2009, according to details on the police site.
On Twitter, Gorka had rejected reports in mid-January that he was connected to any 2009 incident, writing that “I moved to America in 2008.” He told the Washington Examiner that a BuzzFeed report on the warrant was “more #FAKENEWS,” but he did not address whether the warrant itself existed.
Gorka was born in London but holds Hungarian and U.S. citizenship through naturalization. He was considered a close ally of former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who left Trump's staff in August, one week before Gorka. Both men had previously worked at Breitbart News.
To many, Gorka's exact role in the White House was never fully clear. While there were conflicting reports about whether he was able to obtain a security clearance or keep it during his stint with the Trump administration, he appears to have had little say over policies related to what he claimed was his matter of expertise: security issues and counterterrorism.
Questions were also raised about his academic qualifications. Nevertheless, Gorka continued to appear on U.S. networks on behalf of the Trump administration, gaining a reputation as a staunch defender of the president even when others shied away from backing him. But his internal critics eventually prevailed after Bannon, the man who brought him into the White House, left.
During his time at the White House, Gorka met with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto in March 2017 when the warrant still appears to have been active. A ministry spokesman later denied that Szijjarto was aware of the warrant at the time of the meeting.
In an unrelated incident, Transportation Security Administration officials intercepted Gorka at Reagan National Airport in early 2016 as he attempted to bring a firearm onto a plane. A Virginia judge later dismissed the charge.
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