Sebastian Gorka, a senior White House national security official, reiterated President Donald Trump’s threats against North Korea, warning on Wednesday that the US would respond to escalating threats from the nuclear-armed rogue state.
“Don’t test America and don’t test Donald J. Trump,” Gorka said on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning. “We are not just a superpower. We were a superpower and now we are a hyper-power.”
On Tuesday, Trump issued a chilling warning to the North Korean government, saying the country “best not make any more threats to the United States” or it would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
The president’s language, which experts say is largely unprecedented in the US’ treatment of the country, was condemned by Democrats on Capitol Hill, as well as some Republicans.
Of the president’s comments, Republican Sen. John McCain said, “That kind of rhetoric, I’m not sure how it helps.”
In response to the criticism, Gorka said that lawmakers should stand behind the president, hearkening back to the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis — at time when, Gorka said, the country was united behind then-President John F. Kennedy.
“During the Cuban missile crisis, we stood behind JFK,” Gorka said. “This is analogous to the Cuban missile crisis. We need to come together.”
While Gorka echoed the president and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in characterising North Korea as a “grave threat” to the US, he added that the country poses a “very, very insignificant threat in terms of scale,” arguing that the country’s military power pales in comparison to that of the US.
Gorka is a controversial figure within the national security community. In conversations with Business Insider in February, several national-security experts have questioned his credibility in their field, saying he is often dismissed as an outspoken conservative pundit who lacks the experience and knowledge to advise the president.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.