Late Friday night, controversial White House advisor Sebastian Gorka leaked his resignation letter to The Federalist, claiming he could help President Donald Trump better from outside.
The White House is disputing that account.
“Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works at the White House,” was the official statement the pool received. The White House requested the quote be attributed to “a White House Official” (sic).
That too, is now in dispute.
Just got off the phone with Dr. Gorka who said “I can confirm I resigned.”
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) August 26, 2017
Anyone who thinks Gorka quit and wasn’t fired is a madman. Gorka has Kelly and McMaster’s boot prints on the ass of his velvet lounge pants.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) August 26, 2017
Gorka tells me “liberating” to resign; others say was fired. I’m told exit after VERY tense call where Gen Kelly pressed him re long vaca
— Ed Henry (@edhenry) August 26, 2017
Gorka apparently was fired by the White House. What about the rest of the neofascist Alt Right? They need to go too.
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) August 26, 2017
Politics lacks precise language to describe a situation where somebody is clearly no longer employed, but there is debate as to whether the cause was a resignation or a firing. Hollywood, however, has long dealt with such situations and has created it’s own terminology.
The Variety Slanguage Dictionary describes ‘ankle’ thusly, “a classic (and enduring) Variety term meaning to quit or be dismissed from a job, without necessarily specifying which; instead, it suggests walking; ‘Alan Smithee has ankled his post as production prexy at U.’”
This is not the first time there has been a White House dispute over whether someone was fired or quit.
Last week, every single member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned in protest over Trump’s Charlottesville response.
When the White House subsequently claimed that they had planned on eliminating the department, actor Kal Penn laughed off the claim on MSNBC.
“We broke up with him first,” Penn noted, with a grin. “He is not allowed to break up with us after that, I learned that in fourth grade.”