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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE on Friday backed Sebastian GorkaSebastian Lukacs GorkaPirro acknowledges suspension by Fox Judge orders White House to restore Playboy reporter's press pass Playboy correspondent suing White House for suspending press pass: 'I am provocative, and I am a smart aleck' 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 RossOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Group sues Trump administration for info related to 'attempts to politicize NOAA' NOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet MORE and Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' Sinema touts bipartisan record as Arizona Democrats plan censure vote 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.