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Extreme Right in White House: Two Out of Three is Still Bad

One of three extreme right figures around Trump has left the White House
(Flickr/DonkeyHotey) Extreme Right Figures in the White House

A leading figure on the extreme right, Stephen Bannon, left the White House Friday. Bannon was President Donald Trump’s chief strategist in the White House.

For the extreme right-wing in the media, Congress, and business, Bannon was an important White House ally. However, the White House still has two other extreme right figures: Steven Miller and Sebastian Gorka.

Bannon, Miller and Gorka have come under fire for their views, statements, and competence. Of the three, Miller might be described as the wordsmith, Gorka as the self-described terrorism expert, and Bannon as the ideas man.

Extreme Right Ideas Man: Bannon

Trump and Bannon first met in 2010. The two clicked, both in terms of personality and ideology. On August 17, 2016, Trump engaged Bannon to help with his campaign.

In Bannon’s previous position, running the extreme right-wing Breitbart News, he lit into globalism, immigration, and Islam. This was exactly what Trump had been preaching.

After Trump’s win, Bannon expounded on the anti-globalism agenda the Trump team would implement. For Bannon, globalism had “gutted” the American working class. He painted himself as an economic nationalist and denied any racial element to his nationalism.

However, after the election, Bannon’s hands were seen in anti-immigration measures and Trump policy on race. The travel ban targeted Muslims. Draconian immigration measures focused on brown people. And Bannon backed Trump for his tone-deaf remarks on Charlottesville.

Extreme Right Wordsmith: Miller

Stephen Miller is a senior policy adviser to Trump, and one of his speechwriters. He has also appeared frequently on TV to defend the administration’s immigration policies.

Even though Miller is from liberal California, he has expressed nationalist and anti-immigrant views from a young age. Prior to coming to the White House, he served extreme right Representative Michele Bachman and then Senator Jeff Sessions.

At the White House, Miller has been very strategic. Allied earlier with Bannon, Miller has gone on to become close with Jared Kushner.

Trump is fond of Miller for his combative TV appearances, especially when it comes to defending Trump’s immigration policies. Miller is probably thus quite safe, for now.

Extreme Right Fake Terrorism Expert: Gorka

Following Bannon’s departure, his deputy Sebastian Gorka might be the next to go.

Outside the White House, Gorka gets a lot of ridicule. He considers himself an expert on terrorism. However, Gorka has the dubious distinction of being the subject of a Twitter hashtag: #FakeTerrorismExpert.

Most recently, Gorka was mocked for suggesting that a mosque bombing in Minnesota could have been staged. Last year, the FBI ended his contract for his exaggerations about Islam.

Gorka’s ties to Hungary’s extreme right have also raised eyebrows. According to some reports, Gorka had ties to Vitezi Rend, an anti-Semitic group allied with the Nazis. Gorka has vigorously defended himself.

Like Miller, Gorka appeals to Trump because of his performance on TV. But of the three extreme right figures in the White House, Gorka’s position is now the most tenuous.

However, as of Saturday, both Gorka and Miller are in the White House. With apologies to Meatloaf, two out of three is still bad.