Speed Reads

Quotables

Sebastian Gorka says 'the fake news industrial complex' misunderstood his criticism of Tillerson on North Korea

Sebastian Gorka, who still works in the White House in some kind of foreign policy advisory role, spoke several times about North Korea on Thursday, and he made very clear who the enemy is: journalists. He began the day with BBC radio, where he suggested that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had no right to assure Americans that they "should sleep well at night," because he isn't Defense Secretary James Mattis.

"You should listen to the president; the idea that Secretary Tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical," Gorka told the BBC. "It is the job of Secretary Mattis, the secretary of defense, to talk about the military options, and he has done so unequivocally. ... Secretary Tillerson is the chief diplomat of the United States, and it is his portfolio to handle those issues."

When anchor Liz Claman challenged Gorka on this on Fox News Thursday afternoon, Gorka said he wasn't saying Tillerson was out of line to try and ratchet down tensions with North Korea. "I was admonishing the journalists of the fake news industrial complex who are forcing our chief diplomat into a position where they are demanding he makes the military case for action when that is not the mandate of the secretary of state," he said. "If a journalist doesn't know the difference between the secretary of state and the Department of Defense, they should hand in their credentials." Claman said Tillerson didn't look like he was forced into saying anything. She did not point out that Mattis has felt quite comfortable talking about diplomatic solutions to the North Korean crisis.

Gorka also attacked the press on Wednesday, in an interview with Breitbart News Daily radio, while defending his statement that "there's no such thing as a lone wolf" attack, because all serious attacks and plots are linked to the Islamic State or al Qaeda. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman apparently noted that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was not connected to ISIS or al Qaeda, and Gorka told Breitbart that "Maggie Haberman and her acolytes in the fake news media" are misguided. "It's this constant, 'Oh, it's the white man. It's the white supremacists. That's the problem.' No, it isn't, Maggie Haberman. Go to Sinjar. Go to the Middle East, and tell me what the real problem is today. Go to Manchester." You can listen to the clip at Think Progress.