Katharine Gorka steps down as CBP press secretary
Katharine Gorka is leaving her post as press secretary for US Customs and Border Protection after only two months on the job.
She confirmed to CNN Tuesday that she is resigning and will leave the agency at the end of the week. The Washington Post first reported Gorka’s departure.
“I have served the administration for almost three years. I’ve decided it’s time to spend more time with my family,” she said, adding that it was “100%” her choice to leave the position.
During her tenure at CBP, the agency was in the spotlight for severe overcrowding at its border facilities, as well as reports of lewd and demeaning social media postings by former and current agents.
Gorka’s departure is the latest in a string of high-profile turnovers at the Department of Homeland Security, which has left the department with an acting secretary since April, as well as all three immigration-focused agencies with acting chiefs.
Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan joined the agency in early July after a short stint at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. With Gorka’s departure, both CBP and ICE will also be without a political appointee in their communications offices.
Gorka is married to Sebastian Gorka, the former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, who was an outspoken and combative defender of the President’s national security agenda, known for his dire warnings of Islamic terrorism while writing for Breitbart.
Before joining CBP on June 24, Katharine Gorka was a political appointee in the Homeland Security policy office who stirred controversy for her role in the department’s efforts to combat violent extremism in the US. Over the past year, outside watchdog groups have requested records during her time as a senior adviser at DHS, with one group suing to get documents.
“We’re suing to find out whether her extreme and biased views are driving Homeland Security resources away from real threats,” said Democracy Forward spokeswoman Charisma Troiano in March.
Gorka joined CBP when former acting Commissioner John Sanders was leading the agency. Sanders had advocated for Gorka to join, but he left the agency himself shortly after Gorka arrived.
“Katie has been an active and valued member of CBP’s Public Affairs team and after three years of public service as a member of the DHS transition team, at DHS and CBP, we wish her all the best in her future endeavors,” said acting Assistant Commissioner Michael Friel in a statement Tuesday.