Gorka: ‘Massive’ Defeats for Islamic State in ‘Scant Eight Months of Trump Administration’
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, chief strategist for the MAGA Coalition and former deputy assistant to President Trump, joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about the latest political news, media bias, the defeat of the Islamic State in Raqqa, and the Kurdish situation in Iraq.
Gorka argued that the “political revolution” of President Trump’s election is still in progress, albeit in a disorganized fashion.
“Just look at recent events—whether it’s Alabama, whether it’s Corker, whether it’s Denton. All of these people, all of these events, tell you the direction in which politics is heading in this country,” he argued.
“If you watch the Mitch McConnell impromptu press event with the president two days ago, just look at Mitch’s body language, look at his face. His cage has been rattled, and there’s nobody better than Steve to do that,” he said, referring to Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon’s project to challenge establishment Republicans across the nation in the 2018 primaries.
“Breitbart is just riding the crest of the wave of people who want to have their representative government back,” said Gorka, who was previously National Security Editor for Breitbart News.
“This isn’t just an isolated event. This isn’t just one presidential candidate in American history. It’s everything that’s going on in Europe. You look at the recent events, you look at Brexit, you look at the recent elections across Europe. Business-as-usual politics has demonstrated itself to be utterly bankrupt—not just financially but also morally.”
“That’s why we’re taking the country back. It may be ad hoc in the beginning, but some beautiful things can come out of individuals coming together and demanding that the founding values of the republic be reflected by the political elite in this capital,” he said.
The conversation turned to the liberation of Raqqa, formerly the capital of the Islamic State in Syria. Marlow proposed that the significance of the event has been underplayed, in part because President Trump became involved in a squabble with the media over Gold Star families.
“If this had happened under Obama, this is all you would have heard for months,” Gorka said.
“This is massive. Two things have happened of geostrategic importance in just the scant eight months of the Trump administration,” he explained. “Number One, Mosul was liberated. Mosul is incredibly important because that’s the city from where at the Mosul Grand Mosque, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—the head of ISIS—declared the reestablishment of the new caliphate. The symbolic value of Mosul being liberated from ISIS was huge because the caliphate’s birthplace was retaken.”
“And now, with the fall of Raqqa, we have not just the symbolic heart of ISIS, we have the operational heart, the real headquarters of ISIS being taken down,” he continued. “ISIS is now just something that needs to be mopped up, and our military will do it. Eight months? This is incredible. This shows you what willpower, what determination, what the unleashing of our military can achieve. These are massive stories. I’m glad there are at least places like Breitbart that understand that.”
Gorka said it was especially important to him that “this false story with regards to what the president said to the mother of this special forces soldier that fell” be countered.
“I know exactly what the president said to that woman,” he declared. “I don’t need to be on the call because he’s said it in front of me again, and again, and again. What the president said to that woman is: ‘It is all the more impressive that a man like your son took this job upon himself knowing the risks involved.’ That’s what the president said.”
“To have that shamelessly twisted into some kind of sarcastic statement such as, ‘Well, that’s what he signed up for,’ it is absolutely inexcusable. But that’s where we are today, and that’s why Andrew—that clip you start every show with, don’t ever stop using it. That’s why Andrew was right. We have to destroy the New York Times and CNN for all their lies because this is what they’re doing right now with that presidential phone call,” he said, heartily recommending Andrew Breitbart’s book Righteous Indignation for a deeper explanation of his thoughts about the importance of confronting the media.
Gorka recalled a conversation with a mainstream media producer the previous day, in which she said, “My bosses tell me that I need to spend days on finding out the source for whether or not Rex Tillerson called the president a moron.”
“That’s news today,” he sighed. “I said to her, look, there are women right now as we sit here—we were in Trump Hotel—as we sit here comfortably sipping our coffee, there are women being sold into sex slavery by jihadists, and you’re dedicating hundreds of man-hours to the story as to whether or not a Cabinet member used a mildly rude word about the president? That’s where we are today.”
Gorka said the good news is that the “Fake News industrial complex” is paying a steep price in lost credibility and “tanking” ratings.
“If the Washington Post weren’t a vanity project for Jeff Bezos, it wouldn’t be wrapping fish and chips up. It would be maybe lining cat litter trays,” he said.
In response to a caller who asked if the California wildfires could be an act of terrorism, comparable to fires deliberately set in Portugal and Spain, Gorka noted that terrorism “has to have some sort of political or ideological end state in mind.”
“A lot of these fires, we find out the individual has some sort of psychotic issue. Let’s wait and see. I’m not ruling it out. The investigation is underway. But for this to be terrorism, it has to be somebody with a political or ideological motive, not just a psychotic one or not just a financial one. So let’s allow the good investigators to do their work,” he recommended.
“It can’t be killing people for the sake of killing people because then you’re Jeffrey Dahmer or the Boston Strangler,” he added, elaborating on the definition of terrorism. “There has to be a political, ideological, or religious end state you wish to achieve. Let’s see if that’s a possible motivation behind the attacks.”
Another caller pointed out the difference between the deference shown to the children of illegal aliens in the DACA controversy, compared to the indifference and lack of special privileges offered to children whose parents are prosecuted for other crimes.
“It really returns to what undergirds everything we were doing in the administration, and in fact what we campaigned for during the campaign,” Gorka said. “The policy platforms of the president weren’t ad hoc, and they weren’t accidental. Whether it’s the wall, whether it’s the immigration ban, whether it’s defeating ISIS, whether it’s unleashing the economy—all of these things are linked by one philosophical concept: national sovereignty.”
“It’s a reassertion of national sovereignty, and that’s why the president said again and again and again, especially when he gave that Paris climate accord speech: ‘I was elected to be the president for the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,’” he said.
To the caller’s point, Gorka said the “America First” philosophy “doesn’t mean arrogance, doesn’t mean unilateralism—it means serving the interests of this nation, and for mostly its citizens first.”
“That’s absolutely reasonable. It’s the foundation of any nation’s survival. I think the point that we have to look after broken families here first—whether they’re broken by crime, whether they’re broken by opioid abuse—before we assist charitably anybody else. That is just a reassertion of common sense,” he said.
A third caller asked if there was truly a fundamental difference in how the Trump administration approaches terrorism when it seems as if so many Obama administration policies have been retained.
Gorka quoted President Trump’s response to an interviewer who asked why the Islamic State is suddenly crumbling under his administration: “Now we’re fighting to win. Under Obama, we were fighting to be politically correct.”
“The first time I met Donald Trump, summer 2015 in his office, within seconds of us discussing national security issues I realized two things about this man. He hates political correctness, Number One. That’s why he’s so sympathetic. Secondly, he knew we are at war with the jihadists, and he wanted to win this war,” he recalled.
“What you’ve seen the last eight months is Ingredient One for victory: the will to actually win. That’s why ISIS is crumbling in a matter of months, as opposed to years and years of it growing and growing,” he said.
In response to a caller who praised the Kurds as battlefield allies and wondered why the United States isn’t doing more to assist their bid for independence in Iraq, Gorka said “it’s a little bit more complicated than just them being cool dudes and tough fighters.”
“You’ve got to dial it back a little bit. The P.R. for the Kurds is very good, but sometimes it doesn’t match reality,” he observed. “Secondly, there are some real issues with regards to how they treat Christians, especially around the Nineveh Plains. It’s not a white-hat, black-hat issue here.”
Having said that, Gorka granted Marlow’s point that drawing moral equivalence between Iran-backed Shiite militia groups and the Kurds was wrong, clarifying that such equivalence is not being pushed by “the president’s personnel.”
“I spoke to people in the region, Kurds who are negotiating with Americans on the ground right there now. Everybody in the room they’re talking to is an Obama holdover,” he explained.
“That’s the issue. The issue is that Kurdish policy—as long as Brett McGurk is the special envoy, he’s Obama’s man. He’s a bag-carrier for Shiite interests. As long as we don’t change out the personnel that are writing the reports, that are interacting with the people on the ground, we will continue to see these very bad policies enacted at the operational and theater level,” he predicted.
“I don’t know what [Secretary of State] Rex [Tillerson] is doing, but he needs to change out the personnel because he’s got people representing this president who do not believe in this president,” Gorka cautioned.
He said his own advice to the Kurds would have been “don’t hold the referendum” for independence. “Yes, Kurdistan is a functional autonomous region already, but we have to stabilize Iraq before you secede or do anything of that ilk. So hold your horses, Kurds. Take a break. Count to ten,” he suggested.
“In the meantime, replace people with seasoned—there are people who have worked that region for years who understand the players, and aren’t going to facilitate Iran. The big challenge right now, the one thing we have to do in addition to stopping the bloodshed, is making sure that this country of Iraq doesn’t simply become an extension of Iran. Iran is milking our victory for their own success. That’s what we have to stop, and that’s what the State Department should be part of,” Gorka urged.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern.