Trump meets Hungary’s far-right prime minister

They say the visit is important as Trump seeks to pull Hungary back from recent alignments with Russian Federation, reward members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that increase their commitments to defense, limit China's global reach through 5G networks and sell USA weapons overseas. "So why was Hungary's far-right prime minister Viktor Orbán meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Monday?" writes CNN.

"You look at some of the problems they have in Europe that are tremendous because they've done it a different way than the prime minister", Trump said.

U.S. President Donald Trump is slated to meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday - the first visit of the controversial leader to the White House since he returned to power in 2010.

Ahead of Monday's meeting, a bipartisan group of US senators on the Foreign Relations Committee wrote to Trump to ask him to urge Orban to return to the democratic roots and values that defined Hungary's post-Cold War relationship with the USA and Europe. "Orban was essentially running a political platform on the basis of an anti-immigration message", said Berschinski, now a senior vice president at Human Rights First.

When a reporter asked Trump about "democratic backsliding" in Hungary, where Orban has imposed restrictions on the press and on universities, Trump praised Orban as "tough".

NULAND: And Viktor Orban's gone in the opposite direction. "Parallel societies? Muslim communities living together with the Christian community?"

While Trump has clashed with traditional United States allies like Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and German chancellor Angela Merkel, he has shown a notable affinity for "strongman" leaders including Russia's Vladimir Putin, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, North Korea's Kim Jong-un and China's Xi Jinping. Hungary's prime minister had to settle for last place. "Under Orban, the election process has become less competitive and the judiciary is increasingly controlled by the state".

"Trump's meeting with Orban will also have the effect of boosting the illiberal, pro-Russian European far right over the mainstream, pro-American centre-right".

"Well, I never did use [it]", the president replied, alluding to Russia's meddling in the 2016 campaign.

He says: "I don't need it".

Critics of Orban say he peddles anti-Semitic tropes in his attacks on George Soros, the Hungarian Jewish billionaire and liberal donor, and that his government has distorted Holocaust history by seeking to shift full blame for the fate of Hungarian Jews on Germany. "All I need is the opponents that I'm looking at".



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