Gorka On Critics Of Trump’s North Korea Rhetoric: ‘Support The Executive’

Susan Walsh/AP

White House adviser Sebastian Gorka said Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s threatening of North Korea with “fire and fury” and nuclear weapons over its alleged advancement of nuclear capabilities distinguished the United States as a “hyperpower.”

Responding to bipartisan criticism of Trump’s bombastic rhetoric, Gorka said: “These are the moments when we have to come together as the nation and support the executive.”

In an appearance on “Fox & Friends” — which Trump is known to watch nearly daily — co-host Steve Doocy asked Gorka what Trump meant with a new round of threats on Twitter earlier that morning.

“He’s saying don’t test America, and don’t test Donald J. Trump,” Gorka responded. “We are not just a superpower. We were a superpower. We are now a hyperpower. Nobody in the world, especially not North Korea, comes close to challenging our military capabilities. Whether they’re conventional, whether they’re nuclear or whether they’re special forces. So the message is very clear: Don’t test this White House, Pyongyang.”

Gorka later said, referring to his own bombastic rhetoric: “Believe it or not, I got great talking points for this interview.”

He also characterized North Korea’s actions as an attempt to “blackmail the West” into concessions and called on the country to stop its missile testing and militaristic rhetoric.

“This is extortion, nothing less,” he said, referring to North Korea.

“Are you saying they have built an atomic bomb to shake us down for stuff?” Doocy asked bluntly.

“It’s absolutely clear,” Gorka said. “It’s absolutely clear.”

And, responding to critics of Trump’s rhetoric including Democratic leadership and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who chairs the Senate Armed Forces Committee, Gorka was blunt: You’re either with Trump, or you’re not a patriot.

“These are the moments when we have to come together as the nation and support the executive,” he said. “Whether you voted for him or not, whether they’re a Democrat, whether they’re a Republican, these are the trying times. During the Cuban missile crisis, we stood behind JFK. This is analogous to the Cuban missile crisis.” 

Gorka added: “Anybody, whether they’re a member of a Congress, whether they’re a journalist: If you think your party politics, your ideology trumps the national security of America, that is an indictment of you.”

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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