Former White House national security aide Sebastian Gorka defended national security adviser H.R. McMaster following a campaign accusing the three-star general of being anti-Israel, but said McMaster views violent extremism through an "Obama administration lens."
In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Gorka said he has never heard McMaster make anti-Israel comments, despite media stories accusing the former general of being "hostile" toward the state.
"I'm not here to feed stories of palace intrigue — I hate that, and I'm still loyal to the president and his agenda," Gorka said. "I have never heard Gen. McMaster say things that are anti-Israeli. I've never heard that."
In stories published by Breitbart News, the media outlet run by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, McMaster was described as "increasingly volatile" and "deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump."
President Trump issued a statement this month defending his national security adviser, saying he was a "good man and very pro-Israel."
Though Gorka came to McMaster's defense for his stance on Israel, the former White House aide criticized the national security adviser for his beliefs about violent extremism.
McMaster "sees the threat of Islam through an Obama administration lens, meaning that religion has nothing to do with the war we are in," Gorka said. "He believes, and he told me in his office, that all of these people are just criminals. That is simply wrong."
Gorka left his post at the White House on Friday, one week after Bannon ended his tenure with the Trump administration.
Gorka said he resigned willingly, but a White House official disputed that claim. Gorka reportedly will be rejoining Breitbart, where he worked as the national security editor.
With Bannon's departure, Gorka said he didn't believe he had a future at the White House and decided to leave on his own.
"He was the person that I reported to directly," he said of Bannon. "It had become clear to me with the pro-Trump individuals at NSC being fired, and being squeezed out of the policy-making process, that I too had a limited future in the White House as a strategist to the president."
Before leaving the White House, three Democratic senators asked the Trump administration to disclose whether Gorka lied about membership in the Vitezi Rend, an anti-Semitic Hungarian group.