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Tue May 14, 2019, 12:50 AM

Hungarian Strongman Viktor Orban Got a Trump Meeting After Praising His 'Amazing' 2016 Win

Hungarian Strongman Viktor Orban Got a Trump Meeting After Praising His ‘Amazing’ 2016 Win

Asawin Suebsaeng, Sam Brodeyat the Daily Beast



He and Orban had discussed a number of issues and foreign-policy concerns. But one thing in particular appeared to have grabbed Trump’s attention. Orban had noted Trump’s “amazing” electoral-college triumph over 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, according to a source with direct knowledge of Trump’s account of the conversation.

That overt, targeted flattery was just one method that Orban and his team used to bring about Monday’s meeting. The charm offensive was complimented by a more traditional Washington method: a lobbying campaign to help the Hungarian leader open proverbial doors in the nation’s capital.


While Hungary still holds elections, Orban has taken measures to stifle democracy and benefit his Fidesz Party, having rewritten the state constitution, reshaped the country’s judicial branch, and taken control of much of the country’s media.

At the same time, Orban has put a xenophobia and chest-thumping Hungarian nationalism at the cornerstone of his political movement, openly calling it “Christian democracy” or even “illiberal democracy.” He has called refugees “Muslim invaders” and declared that Hungary was Europe’s last defense against what he called Islamization.


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