techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com May 26, 2019


'Like me, a little controversial' - Trump praises Hungary's anti-immigration PM Orban

15 May 2019, 03:01 | Glen Norman

"I hope that in the private conversation Trump will tell him that we don't like Orban sliding into the Russian sphere of influence", said Andras Simonyi, a former Hungarian ambassador to the USA who is now affiliated with George Washington University in Washington. He last visited the White House for one-on-one meetings in 2001, during his first stint as prime minister, but was refused a meeting with the President, instead resigned to meeting only with then-Vice President Dick Cheney. "He's a respected man".

But Trump also insisted erroneously that he "never did use, as you probably know", such information, adding: "That's what the Mueller report was all about".

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Trump didn't hesitate to meet - twice now - with North Korea's Kim Jong Un in an effort to persuade him to give up his nuclear weapons program.

"The Hungarian government fails to respect the rule of law and human rights", Human Rights Watch writes in its current country profile of Hungary.

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He clashed with the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, over what critics said was an erosion of democratic values by his government.

Trump projected an air of kinship with Orban.

He said Hungary was proud to stand with the United States on "fighting against illegal migration" and other issues.

KELEMEN: Trump praised him for that, too. Orban was bound and determined to take lessons from Vladimir Putin's playbook and consolidate power and further restrict the media, et cetera.

Senior Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Congress told Trump in a letter on Friday they were concerned about Hungary's "downward democratic trajectory" and its close relationship with Russian Federation.

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KELEMEN: She says Orban's government sent two suspected Russian arms dealers back to Russia, denying a US extradition request. Pompeo also has emphasized the risks of doing business with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, which has significant operations in Hungary, and said there are dangers to allowing "China to gain a bridgehead in Hungary".

In this March 15, 2018 photo, people taking part in a march against Prime Minister Viktor Orban flash the lights of their mobile phones in Budapest, Hungary.

Orban, Hungary's prime minister from 1998-2002 and again since 2010, has been criticized by the European Union, of which it is a member, as well as global human rights groups for a perceived decline in human rights and democracy in his country.

"Everyone from the Egyptian president to the Russian president to Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines to [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan in Turkey". Orban was essentially running a political platform on the basis of an anti-immigration message long before Trump.

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