Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.
WASHINGTON — Should American academia be churning out an army of miniature Seb Gorkas?
Presumably, Gorka would think so. Now, the former advisor to President Trump known as both a lightning rod for controversy and a buffoonish object of ridicule is getting a shot at influencing young minds.
Gorka is returning to government service with a new presidential appointment to a board overseeing scholarships to study languages and countries deemed strategically-important to the United States, the Trump administration announced Tuesday.
Gorka scored a four-year appointment to the National Security Education Board, a 14-member panel that helps guide a federal initiative established in 1991 known as the National Security Education Program, or NSEP. Since 1994, the NSEP has awarded scholarships to over 6,000 U.S. students. To receive the money, the students agree to later work in qualifying national security positions, according to the NSEP.
During the wild-eyed early days of the Trump administration, Gorka seemed to be everywhere, providing interviews and speaking out for the untested administration. He stirred controversy by wearing the honorary medal of a Hungarian nationalist organization with historical links to Nazi Germany.
But he was out hardly seven months later as Trump’s White House churned through staffers at a breakneck pace. Gorka began hosting a pro-Trump talk radio show. But his career really took a turn for the weird when he began selling dietary supplements that he claimed had somehow miraculously cured his back pain, along with hoodies and coffee mugs on his web store.
Gorka once famously hailed the dawn of the Trump era by declaring “alpha males are back.” Now, Gorka is back again, in a sense, although only on the distant fringes of Trump’s federal empire.
Despite spending only a few months in the White House, Gorka has managed to keep in the news ever since, including for expressing his views on younger people trying to make a difference. Earlier this year, he drew criticism for dismissing 17-year-old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, on a radio broadcast as “thunder thighs.”
Cover: Sebastian Gorka, former Deputy Assistant to President Trump, at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, MD on February 28, 2019 (Photo by Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)