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Trump counterterrorism adviser Gorka voiced support for a Hungarian militia quickly banned over racist violence

In 2007, Sebastian Gorka, now President Trump's controversial chief counterterrorism adviser, was the leader of a new right-wing party in his parents' native Hungary, trying to peel votes away from the ultranationalist and anti-Semitic Jobbik party and current Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's Fidesz (Hungarian Civic Alliance) party. Gorka formed his New Democratic Coalition (UDK) with former Jobbik members, and Jobbik at the time was on the verge of establishing a paramilitary militia, the Hungarian Guard (Magyar Gárda), banned by Hungary's top court in 2009 over its anti-Roma marches.

In an August 2007 interview on Hungarian TV unearthed by the Forward — which previously reported Gorka's apparent affiliation with ex-Nazi society Vitézi Rend — Gorka said he supports Jobbik's establishment of the Guard, calling it a response to "a big societal need," according to English translation of Gorka's comments. The Hungarian military "is sick," like "the state of Hungarian society," he said. "This country cannot defend itself." The UDK site then touted Gorka's interview, in a headline indicating UDK support for the Hungarian Guard.

The European Court of Human Rights upheld Hungary's ban on the Hungarian Guard in 2013 — the same year two Guard members were convicted for racially motivated murders of Hungarian Roma — saying the militia was promoting an "essentially racist" order, motivated by "the racial conflict between Hungarian majority and Roma minority."

At the time of Gorka's 2007 interview with EchoTV, Jewish groups were warning about the black-vested Hungarian Guard militia. And though Gorka has written for "a far-right, anti-Semitic Hungarian publication, Magyar Demokrata — whose editor-in-chief was one of the Guard's founding members," the Forward said, "there is no evidence that Gorka himself has ever engaged in overtly anti-Semitic acts or participated in any of the Guard's activities."

Gorka did discuss militias in the U.S. during the interview, using them to defend the forming of the Hungarian Guard. When the interviewer asked him if it is "normal" for a political party in a developed democracy to form "in reality, a paramilitary group," Gorka said "it's completely natural" in places like Switzerland and Israel. "Even in America, where the largest and wealthiest military exists, there are such programs where people can access weapons almost for free if they attend an organized shooting training and always belong to an organization," he said, making clear he was not talking about the National Guard. You can read more and watch then entire 25-minute interview at the Forward.