A new report from The Forward alleges that Vitézi Rend, a far-right Hungarian group, counts one of its members as Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Donald Trump.
Rend was “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany" during World War II, according to the State Department, and its leadership oversaw the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Jews into Nazi territory. The group was banned until 1989, when it splintered into two separate groups. The name of the group Gorka allegedly belongs to is called “Historical Vitézi Rend,” and promotes Hungarian nationalism as well as racial superiority.
The Forward confirmed Gorka's membership with members of the organization in Budapest. “Of course he was sworn in,” said Kornél Pintér, a leader of Vitézi Rend. "“In today’s world it is rare to meet anyone as well-bred as Sebastian or his father, Pali."
The "swearing in" Pintér refers to is a longstanding initiation with the group. It includes an oath of allegiance, after which members are permitted to use the initial "V" for "Vitez." This initial was employed by Gorka in academic papers and during testimony in front of the House Armed Services committee.
Gorka's membership within Vitézi Rend could have significant implications for his immigration status. Gorka became an American citizen in 2012, but did not disclose his affiliation with the group. “The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual specifies that members of the Vitézi Rend ‘are presumed to be inadmissible’ to the country under the Immigration and Nationality Act,’” The Forward reported, though former immigration judge Bruce Einhorn said the case against Gorka would be "difficult, but winnable."
Gorka declined to comment when asked about Vitézi Rend by Buzzfeed News on Thursday. “Send a request to White House press,” he said.