Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, declined to comment on whether the president thinks Islam is a religion.
Gorka, who offers Trump guidance on terrorism and national security, refused to say where the president stands on the religion, and added that the White House will not take any advice or recommendations from the "so-called terrorism experts" from Obama's administration.
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"This isn't a theological seminary, this is the White House, and we're not going to get into theological debates," Gorka said Wednesday morning during and NPR interview. "If the president has a certain attitude toward a certain religion, that's something you can ask him, but we're talking about national security and the totalitarian ideologies that drive the groups that threaten America."
NPR addressed the question on Islam because Gorka previously declined to say whether Trump considers Islam a religion during an interview in early Feb.
As of 2010, there were approximately 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making Islam the world's second-largest religion, according to Pew Research Center. Roughly 3.3 million Muslims live in the U.S.
Gorka defended the president's consistent use of the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism," saying the threat to the U.S. "is radical Islamic terrorism, and it's never changed, and it will not change."
The top adviser and former Breitbart editor did say America's enemy is not "Islam itself."
"We're not going to listen to so-called terrorism experts who are linked in any way to the last eight years of disastrous counterterrorism," he said. "We're going to take a new approach. We have a new president."