On Wednesday, Business Insider reported on the contentious relationship between the national-security community and Sebastian Gorka, a newly appointed senior official on President Donald Trump’s National Security Council.
Michael S. Smith II, a terrorism analyst who has advised members of Congress and White House officials, has been particularly critical of Gorka on Twitter lately, dubbing him a “#FakeTerrorismExpert,” for instance. He told Business Insider that Gorka called him earlier this week to express concern about Smith’s “animus” toward him and threatened to bring his tweets to the attention of the White House legal counsel.
“I’m mostly tweeting links to news stories about him,” Smith told Business Insider on Tuesday night, adding: “He was planning on bringing to the attention of the White House legal counsel my ‘obsessiveness’ with him, as I suppose is evidenced by my tweets about him.”
In an email to Business Insider on Wednesday morning, Gorka disputed this characterization.
“Mr. Smith has been sending disparaging emails to [US government] officials about me and my work and I indicated that I may have to consult with legal staff at the [White House] about what he is doing,” Gorka said. “However I ended the discussion by inviting him to meet at the [Eisenhower Executive Office Building] for a coffee to discuss why exactly he feels the need to constantly be tweeting about me.”
Smith said Gorka was “berating him” and nearly yelling on the call.
Smith said he tentatively accepted Gorka’s invitation to meet him in his office in the White House next month. Gorka rescinded the White House invite after our story was published.
You can listen to the full call below:
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