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The New Arab

Trump's security advisor caught smuggling gun onto plane

Von Gorka is expected to be an advisor on issues related to his arrest [Facebook]

Date of publication: 1 February, 2017

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Sebastian von Gorka may face up to a year in jail after he was caught trying to smuggle a handgun onto a plane at Washington airport.

A senior security advisor in the Trump administration started his West Wing work on Monday, despite awaiting sentencing for attempting to smuggle a firearm onto a plane.

Sebastian von Gorka, 45, was charged with possessing a 9mm handgun at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, in January 2016 after the weapon was spotted by an X-ray operator.

He will be sentenced on February 3.

The deputy assistant to the President of the United States, who is expected to advise Donald Trump on matters related to national security, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge for carrying a weapon in an airport terminal.

It remains unclear if his sentencing will affect his security clearance, though the charge carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500.

A US official confirmed von Gorka's arrest to The Wall Street Journal.

The Trump administration recently banned immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations on grounds of perceived security threats.

Von Gorka, himself an immigrant from the UK whose parents fled Communist Hungary as refugees, pleaded guilty to the charge and is not being charged with any terrorist offence.

The senior advisor, who previously worked in the Hungarian Ministry of Defense, was a national security editor at Breitbart News from 2014 before following his boss, Steve Bannon, to the White House. He is the third former Breitbart staffer to take up a role in Trump's administration.

Writing at Breitbart, he claimed that President Obama had helped the Islamic State group, compared Obama's administration with the totalitarian regime depicted in the George Orwell novel 1984, and said that the Muslim Brotherhood had over-run the National Cathedral in Washington DC.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, fourteen weapons were confiscated at Washington Airport in 2016.

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