By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News reporting from Budapest, Hungary
Trump made the announcement despite concerns about Orbán’s perceived curbing of press freedoms, overhauling the Constitution, and changing the composition of the judiciary.
Orbán, 58, also faces extensive European Union criticism over what Brussels views as his involvement in weakening the country’s independent and democratic institutions.
And, the opposition fears upcoming elections due in April or May, saying Orbán oversaw the rewriting of election laws to favor his Fidesz party and the changing of school textbooks.
While not mentioning these issues, Trump praised Orbán, who claims to support persecuted Christians, for being tough on migrants fleeing war, persecution, and poverty.
Hungary’s leader “truly loves his country and wants safety for his people,” Trump said in a statement Monday.
“He has done a powerful and wonderful job in protecting Hungary, stopping illegal immigration, creating jobs, trade, and should be allowed to continue to do so in the upcoming Election,” the former U.S. president stressed.
Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party faces a diverse six-party opposition alliance, backing conservative and Catholic politician Péter Márki-Zay as a candidate for prime minister.
However, “Orbán is a strong leader and respected by all. He has my Complete support and Endorsement for reelection as Prime Minister!” Trump said.
With Joe Biden now in office, relations between Washington and Budapest have soured, and Hungary was the only EU nation excluded from last month’s Summit for Democracy. President Biden’s decision not to invite came after he earlier called Orbán “a thug.” During a town hall in 2020, then Biden accused then-President Donald Trump of palling around with “all the thugs in the world”:
“You see what’s happening from Belarus through Poland and Hungary and the rise of totalitarian regimes in the world,” Biden said at the time. “Our current president supports all the thugs in the world.”
In response, Orban recently told Fox News television that Biden has “limited knowledge” of his country and cannot understand the issues he makes such remarks.
“Somebody who does not speak our language has a very limited knowledge on Hungary, even in the recent several decades of our life, [how can he be] having an opinion like that,” Orban said. “You know, it’s by itself; it’s a personal insult for all the Hungarians.”
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