Trump adviser calls Twitter critic, threatens legal action

A White House adviser made an angry phone call and threatened a lawsuit over a critic’s tweets about him, Newsweek reported Thursday.

The Newsweek story includes a recording of the lengthy phone call Gorka made after counterterrorism expert Michael S. Smith II questioned Gorka’s qualifications to be a national security adviser.

Gorka, whose experience and views on Islam have come under recent fire, phoned Smith Tuesday, asking to know “why this vitriol” was coming from him.

Gorka repeatedly expressed confusion as to why Smith would attack him, emphasizing the fact that they have never met in person.

“I look at your Twitter feed once or twice a day, and it’s half a dozen tweets about me, and I’ve never even met you,” Gorka said.

“Wow, are you defeating jihad by monitoring or trolling my Twitter feed?” Smith shot back.

Smith, in response to Gorka’s questioning, continued to stress that he had “very serious concerns” about Gorka and his views on national security.

{mosads}During the phone call, Gorka tried to invite Smith to talk face-to-face, but Gorka withdrew the invitation Wednesday because of Smith’s “latest attack piece and continued disparaging tweets.”

Gorka reportedly used a cellphone rather than a government phone to place the call, meaning that the call wouldn’t be logged or archived, Smith told Newsweek. Smith suggested suspected Gorka “was trying to conceal the call.”

Smith said he started recording the call after Gorka threatened legal action.

“Gorka asserted my tweets about him merited examination by the White House legal counsel,” Smith told Newsweek.

“In effect, he was threatening to entangle me in a legal battle for voicing my concerns on Twitter that he does not possess expertise sufficient to assist the president of the United States with formulating and guiding national security policies,” he continued.

Gorka did not respond to Newsweek’s request for comment.

Smith first began criticizing Gorka after learning White House senior adviser Stephen Bannon hired Gorka, who had worked with Bannon at Breitbart News as the national security editor.

Smith has repeatedly bashed and publicly questioned Gorka’s credentials for the job, creating the Twitter hashtag “#FakeTerrorismExpert” to describe his view of Gorka.

And Smith is not alone. He has joined the rising group of security analysts including Cindy Storer, a former CIA expert who specialized in religious extremism and terrorism, and Mia Bloom, a George State University professor who focuses on “transcultural violence.” The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal also recently published articles questioning Gorka’s views on terrorism and Islam.

Before Breitbart, Gorka worked for the College of International Security Affairs (CISA), after getting his doctorate from a Hungarian university in 2008. CISA is a school working toward accreditation that is funded by the Pentagon, The Washington Post reported.

“According to an online biography, he is also an associate fellow at the Joint Special Operations University, at the U.S. Special Operations Command,” Newsweek reports.

Smith is a Republican terrorism expert who has advised congressional committees and shares his expertise regularly in television appearances. Foreign Policy magazine included him in their “100 Leading Global Thinkers.” 

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