Sebastian Gorka Issues Controversial Statement On Elijah Cummings Death: ‘I’m Tempted, But I Won’t’

Sebastian Gorka gives an interview outside the White House.
Alex Wong / Getty Images

Former top White House adviser Sebastian Gorka is coming under fire after appearing to take a shot at longtime Congressman Elijah Cummings after his death on Thursday.

Gorka, one of the fiercest defenders of Donald Trump, took to Twitter to share a news story about Cummings death and a statement that made it seem as if he had something untoward to say about the Maryland congressman.

“Cummings is dead,” he tweeted. “I’m tempted. But I won’t. That’s what they do.”

In the comment section under Gorka’s tweet, many people shared celebration at his death and attacked Cummings for his dogged investigations of the president. As chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cummings led a number of investigations into Trump’s dealings and was playing a key role in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

The tweet and the insinuation that Gorka had either criticisms to offer or celebration to share at the death of one of Donald Trump’s fiercest critics drew significant pushback online.

“Noted fish oil pitchman and fraudulent terrorism ‘expert’ weighs in on the death of a civil rights legend,” tweeted political strategist Rick Wilson, one of Trump’s most vocal critics online.

Gorka was named Deputy Assistant to the President and Strategist when Trump took over the White House in January 2017, working closely with former adviser and Breitbart head Steve Bannon. Gorka’s position was controversial given his close ties to far-right groups in Europe, including a Hungarian group with ties to the Nazi Party.

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Sebastian Gorka had joined in one of the most controversial attacks from Donald Trump when he called Cummings’ district “dirty” and a “rat and rodent-infested mess” in an attack launched minutes after Fox News ran a segment saying the same. Cummings had criticized conditions in detention centers for immigrants detained at the U.S.-Mexico border, leading the conservative cable news network to attack his Maryland congressional district, which contains the city of Baltimore. Trump echoed the attack, and Gorka stood in defense of Trump after allegations that the attack was racist.

Gorka pushed back against the criticism that calling the majority-black congressional district rat-infested was a racist statement.

After the announcement of Cummings death on Thursday, some had expressed concern that Trump himself may level some kind of insult to his political foe, as Trump reportedly had done to John McCain after his death. Trump released a statement on Thursday noting the “strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader” and offering condolences to Cummings’ family.