Trump declares Gorka 'wins big' after clash with reporters in Rose Garden

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE on Friday backed Sebastian GorkaSebastian Lukacs GorkaNikki Haley responds to Gorka: 'I did' tell Trump of concerns about Kelly and Tillerson Jeff Sessions calling Alabama lawmakers about 2020 Senate bid Trump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' MORE after the former White House adviser confronted a reporter in the Rose Garden a day earlier.

The president weighed in on the commotion a day after Gorka clashed with Playboy correspondent Brian Karem. Gorka got into a shouting match with the journalist, calling him a "punk" and accusing him of making a threat.

"@SebGorka Wins Big, No Contest!" Trump tweeted.

Trump has previously joked about physical attacks on reporters, including joking at a campaign rally last year that Rep. Greg GianforteGregory Richard GianforteHere are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 House GOP fears retirement wave will lead to tsunami MORE (R-Mont.) was aided in the polls because he body-slammed a reporter.


Thursday's kerfuffle took place after Trump announced in the Rose Garden that he was dropping his bid to add a citizenship question to the census. Several conservative social media personalities were seated in the Rose Garden to hear Trump's announcement, while credentialed media stood behind rope lines in the back.

The mood turned confrontational after the president returned inside, flanked by Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHillicon Valley: Commerce extends Huawei waiver | Senate Dems unveil privacy bill priorities | House funding measure extends surveillance program | Trump to tour Apple factory | GOP bill would restrict US data going to China Trump officials extend deadline to allow companies to work with Huawei Trump trade adviser pushes back on reports of US-China tariff deal MORE and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrGOP rep predicts watchdog report on alleged FISA abuses will find 'problems' Barr defends Trump's use of executive authority, slams impeachment hearings GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse MORE.

Gorka stormed over to engage with Karem, and the two got into a heated back-and-forth. Other conservative personalities looked on and began recording on their phones, and a few broke into a chant of "Gorka!" as the encounter played out.

Gorka later spoke to reporters nearby and was asked why he blocks so many people on Twitter.

"I block whoever I want to. I block 16,000 people," he told Steve Herman of Voice of America. "Because they’re asshats, that’s why."

Gorka was among the roughly 200 conservatives invited to attend Trump's social media summit at the White House on Thursday. The crowd included supporters of the president as well as right-wing voices known to have spread conspiracy theories.