U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Former White House aide Seb Gorka shoves Mediaite reporter at CPAC

Incident Details

Date of Incident
February 22, 2018


Public figure
Was the journalist targeted?
Daily Beast/Max Tani

Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka lectures Mediaite reporter Caleb Ecarma after shoving him, in this screengrab from a video shot by Daily Beast reporter Max Tani.

— Daily Beast/Max Tani
February 22, 2018

Mediaite reporter Caleb Ecarma was shoved by former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka while attempting to interview him at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on Feb. 22, 2018.

Ecarma told the Freedom of the Press Foundation that he approached Sebastian Gorka with the intention of interviewing him about the Conservative Political Action Conference. But before he could ask a question, he said, Gorka told him to “fuck off” and then shoved him.

Daily Beast reporter Max Tani captured published a video of the altercation on Twitter. The video shows Gorka shaking Ecarma’s hand and then shoving him backwards.

Addy Baird, a reporter at the progressive news site ThinkProgress, asked Gorka to comment on his interaction with Ecarma. She later tweeted that Gorka refused to answer her questions and denounced ThinkProgress as an illegitimate news outlet, and then whistled at her and insulted her.

Ecarma and Gorka have a history.

“In October, I made a joke on Twitter about Gorka’s car because he drives a four cylinder Mustang instead of a V8, which is the flagship model of the car,” Ecarma said. “He took offense to a joke tweet, and he emailed me asking where he wanted to meet, as in, to fight.”

Ecarma said that he accepted Gorka’s invitation to meet in person and Gorka then suggested a televised debate instead. Ecarma said that he agreed to a televised debate, but the former Trump aide never followed up to schedule it.

Later that year in December 2017, Ecarma bumped into Gorka in person in at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Florida. He says that after he introduced himself, Gorka lunged at him and had to be pulled off by security.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].