White House deputy adviser Sebastian Gorka dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s reassurances that “Americans should sleep well at night” in response to escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
Following President Donald Trump’s remarks that further threats from Pyongyang would be met with “fire and fury,” Tillerson said Americans should not be concerned by the heated rhetoric coming from both sides.
That message has not matched up with Gorka’s comments this week: the cable news fixture has doubled down Trump’s saber-rattling, even comparing the current standoff to the Cuban missile crisis on Fox & Friends.
And in an interview with BBC radio on Thursday, audio of which was obtained by The Washington Post, Gorka dinged Tillerson when asked about the Secretary of State’s attempts to calm things down.
“You should listen to the president; the idea that Secretary Tillerson is going to discuss military matters is simply nonsensical,” Gorka, who reportedly does not have a security clearance in the White House, said of the nation’s top diplomat.
“It is the job of Secretary Mattis, the Secretary of Defense, to talk about the military options, and he has done so unequivocally,” Gorka continued. “He said, ‘Woe betide anyone who militarily challenges the United States,’ and that is his portfolio. That is his mandate. Secretary Tillerson is the chief diplomat of the United States, and it is his portfolio to handle those issues.”
The idea that Gorka would publicly undercut a colleague is not surprising for an administration defined by infighting and vast ideological divides — it’s just slightly more terrifying than usual given the involvement of nuclear-tipped missiles.
Gorka also seemed to suggest in the BBC interview that any further escalation of threats from North Korea would be considered acts of war.
[image via screengrab]
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