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Ron DeSantis introduces divisive former White House advisor at Lincoln Day Dinner

Sebastian Gorka, who was forced out of the White House last year, was the featured speaker at the St. Lucie County event.
U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis kicked off his campaign for governor at an event in Boca Raton on Jan. 29. (© Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post via ZUMA Wire)
U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis kicked off his campaign for governor at an event in Boca Raton on Jan. 29. (© Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post via ZUMA Wire)
Published Feb. 12, 2018

Ron DeSantis seems to be making the most of his weekend trips away from Washington, already scheduling fundraisers for his gubernatorial campaign and glad-handing with Floridians.

On Saturday, he was at the St. Lucie County Lincoln Day Dinner, where he introduced and endorsed former White House advisor Sebastian Gorka, a divisive figure who was forced out of his role last year.

"We're in an inflection point in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism, and Dr. Gorka has been involved in this for a number of years," DeSantis said. "He was involved in really setting the main strategy in the White House under president Donald trump, and I think we have a chance to really win this fight during the Trump administration."

Gorka has been a divisive figure since he became an advisor to Trump. He has hard-line views on Islam and was not particularly well-known to policymakers before he was appointed a year ago to a job with no clear duties, the New York Times wrote last year.

He has also been accused of having ties to far-right groups in Europe. In August, Gorka was forced out of the White House.

DeSantis added that his time at Guantanamo Bay – DeSantis was a Navy Judge Advocate General – helped him understand radical Islamic ideology.

"We need to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization," he said. "There is a way to understand the ideology and to separate those folks who are working with us, like an (Egyptian President Abdel Fattah) el-Sisi in Egypt, and those who are are against us."

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