Dr. Sebastian Gorka and American Greatness Publisher Chris Buskirk discuss President Trump’s efforts this week to advance his agenda on immigration, including news that the president might be considering amnesty for 800,000 so-called “Dreamers”—illegal aliens who entered the United States as children.
Chris Buskirk: Welcome back to the Seth and Chris show. Here we are in the penultimate hour of the Seth and Chris show, and we are just getting Dr. Sebastian Gorka on the line. Are we Bill? Yeah, it looks like we have him on the line. He is recently departed from the White House. Bill, sorry . . . Bill is making a signal to me. “One second,” he says. Are we good? All right, we have that kind of technology. Dr. Sebastian Gorka is our guest, recently departed senior advisor to the president of the United States. Welcome back to the show Seb, how are you?
Sebastian Gorka: Very well, thank you for having me.
Buskirk: Look, I’m glad you could make time for us on a Friday night. I know you’re back East so it’s not 4:07 it’s 7:07 where you are. It’s about the time a lot of people like to be winding down with their wife or with their family. Thank you, I do appreciate you carving out a little bit of time today, but I know you don’t have a ton of time. I want to jump right to it. The past, I don’t know, I guess it’s about 48 hours now, almost, has been a little bit of a whirlwind for the president, for his base, for those key supporters. I want to ask you the political question and I want to ask you the policy question.
The first one, the political question, starting Wednesday night the president had dinner at the White House with Chuck Schumer, with Nancy Pelosi. As soon as they left the White House, they could not get press releases and tweets out fast enough saying that they’ve struck a deal on a DACA-related amnesty with the president. Since then the Trump base has been concerned that it might, in fact, be true. I’ve argued that, if true, that would be damaging to the president. That if he did that, that would . . . he would have done to himself what the Democrats could never do to him, which is to separate him from his base; however, there’s the politics. There’s the optics of it, which is that the President may very well be playing a very sophisticated political game in showing the Republican leadership in Congress, that he’s in charge. He’s the President and that they need to do something. What do you think?
Gorka: I think, look I’ve read what you’ve written. As soon as the place erupted I immediately tweeted, “Guys, he’s not leaving us. Count to 10-”
Buskirk: Nice on that.
Gorka: “Take a deep breath, and wait a day.” Sure enough, less than a day, nine hours later, we have the counterpoint from the press secretary and from the President himself. Look, having worked for the man, let me tell you that it’s neither of the options that you, or scenarios that you have painted. He knows, he knows why he is the president. He knows that the first policy issue that catapulted him into preeminence as a presidential candidate was the border, was immigration. He knows that when Jeff Sessions put on that hat, Jeff Sessions was bringing his stance on illegal immigration to his campaign to set him apart from the 16 other hackneyed establishment candidates the GOP had arrayed against him. The president’s not gonna go back.
The other scenario is also fallacious. I love reading how we have these uber-Trumpsters… Look, I’m here to support the president inside the White House or outside the White House. If I read another article on how the president is doing 48-dimensional chess…
Gorka: It’s just, no, he doesn’t do that. He’s not some kind of uber-Machiavellian operator. He is an instinctual actor, a masterful … But he’s not plotting a … Steve Bannon is the fifth dimensional Vulcan, OK? That’s how Steve Bannon operates. He is the super strategist. The president, and that’s why Steve and the president work so well together, the president, as we’ve discussed, is this present, natural, instinctual actor. He goes into these meetings in ways that the swamp doesn’t. Of course, they tweeted the second they got out of the Oval, because they’re politicians and they want to get reelected. The president doesn’t think like that. He’s thinking about the American interest, and at the end of the day, he is not going to sell us up the river, I tell you that.
Buskirk: Okay, so look, that’s extremely helpful. That’s why I really wanted to talk to you. You know the president as well as anybody, way better than most. What’s your understanding of what happened? What do you think is the right way to think about it?
Gorka: Okay, so two things are important. The way I explain what’s happened in the last seven days is the following. Number one, the original response to DACA from the president is quintessential Donald Trump. He said, “Look, this is un-American because it’s unconstitutional.” President Obama behaved like an emperor when he created DACA. He has no right to legislate from the Oval Office, and that’s why he told to the attorney general, “End it now.” That’s why AG Sessions said, “DACA is over.”
However, Donald Trump, if you’ve read anything about him, to get his own books, read the real books not the tag jobs, the real books about him. He is one of the most charitable, kind-hearted men you’ll ever meet. He doesn’t wear it on his sleeve, he’s very quiet about it, but he is a very warm-hearted individual. He is not prepared to see young men and women who have not committed any crime of their own doing, be deported from this nation. He said to Congress, “Guys, let’s work this out.” Criminals, we get rid of them, and he’s absolutely adamant. You’re a member of MS-13, you’re a Dreamer who’s killed somebody, as has happened, you are going to be imprisoned or be deported. End of story. For those people who have not committed any crime beyond being brought here as a child by their parents, we’ve got to find a solution that comports with our Judeo-Christian charitable basis. Those are the things we have to understand about what the president is doing. It’s hard to guarantee them.
The last thing is the political aspect. When he met with those people, when he had Chuck and Nancy, sounds like Sid Vicious, right?
Buskirk: Exactly, yeah.
Gorka: When they came for dinner and they came to the Oval, he wasn’t firing a shot over the bow of the GOP establishment. He was firing a torpedo into the hull of the GOP establishment. He’s sending a message, “You want to fail me again? You don’t understand who won on November 8th? Guess what, there are other people I can work with and hopefully, hopefully those people who are mired in their own establishment dreck, like Paul Ryan, will wake up and understand who won the election last November.
Buskirk: Yeah, I mean, in that sense, I mean, this was where I think President Trump is so good, because he does have that, as you put it, he has this instinctual understanding of how to use his power, and what works. Right, I mean, this is the deal maker, and he’s saying, “Look, the Congress has done nothing, really, of note in the past eight months.” The president’s very energetic, likes to get things done. He says, “OK, if I can’t work with A, I’ll work with B.”
Gorka: Bingo, you’ve got it, you’ve got it. He has that [inaudible 00:07:57] there in a political, conniving sense. You understand exactly where he’s coming from, he wants to get things done. If you have failed him, he’s not going to go back to you for you to fail him again. This is why it’s really crucial to understand the Obamacare vote wasn’t a failure of the president. The president said, “Hey guys, you’ve been talking about replace, repeal and replace for seven years. How about you guys fix it, congressional Republicans.” What happened? They failed, not the president. He has drawn the requisite conclusions.
Buskirk: Yeah, I mean, look, your insight is actually extremely helpful. It’s very helpful for me in thinking about this. I hope it’s helpful, I know it’ll be helpful really, for our listeners. You tend to think of politicians as being manipulative, plotting, Machiavellian. Whereas, maybe the picture you’re painting which is a better one for the President, is more like water. He’s trying to get downhill, and he’s going to go up, down, over, under, around the obstacles, but he’s still charting the same course. He’s still going to get to his destination one way or the other.
Gorka: The important thing to remember, and I like that analogy, and people should really read his book, The Art of the Deal. We’ve done studies with this man, and he will not be stopped, okay? He will not conform to existing patterns on how you get things done. He is totally unencumbered by the objectives that the business-as-usual political class has. Remember, he came to this city with no political baggage at all. He doesn’t have a retinue he has to keep in place. He doesn’t have to guarantee sinecures for a whole schlep of people he brought with him from his state or from his previous political position. As such, he can simply focus on the objective.
Buskirk: That’s perfect. That’s the end of the segment, we’re going to have to leave it there. Dr. Sebastian Gorka, thanks so much for joining us and for sharing your insight into the politics of Washington but in particular, into the President himself. It is extremely helpful. Have a good weekend, we’ll talk to you again real soon.
Gorka: Thanks, I look forward to it. All the best.