Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Orban, Trump

President Donald Trump met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the White House Monday. (Photo: YouTube/screenshot)

Cozy Visit With Far-Right Autocrat Denounced as Trump Praises "Tremendous Job" of Hungary's Viktor Orban

"Donald Trump is giving tacit approval for his racist, misogynist, 'soft fascism,'" says Sen. Markey

Andrea Germanos

President Donald Trump welcomed far-right Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the White House Monday, drawing outrage from progressive quarters.

"By meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán today," said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), "Donald Trump is giving tacit approval for his racist, misogynist, 'soft fascism.'"

Orbán, as the New York Times reported, "was, in July 2016, the first foreign leader to endorse Mr. Trump's candidacy for the presidency," and is "a doyen of right-wing nationalists on multiple continents."

He's also "rolled back democratic checks on his power, mused about creating a European ethnostate, and erected a razor-wire fence to keep migrants out,"as CNN noted.

The visit—Orbán's first to the White House in over 20 years—is in line with Trump's "preference for meeting with authoritarian leaders over Washington's traditional Western allies," as Agence France-Presse noted.

Sitting next to Orbán, Trump said the Hungarian leader "has done a tremendous job in so many different ways" and is "respected all over Europe." Recent polling, however, shows Hungary's image within Europe is tanking.

"Probably, like me, a little bit controversial, but that's okay," said Trump.

Orbán, for his part, said, "I would like to express that we are proud to stand together with United States on fighting against illegal migration, on terrorism, and to protect and help Christian communities all around the world."

Among those criticizing the chummy visit was Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). "The job of the President of the United States should be to stand up for democratic values, not embrace leaders who reject them."

A group of Democratic lawmakers last week called on Trump to cancel the visit.

In a letter to the president, led by Reps. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), co-chair of the Congressional Hungarian Caucus, the lawmakers pointed to Orban's "rollback of democracy in his country," and "anti-Semitic and xenophobic tropes in his political messaging," as well as his suppression of "independent media and academic freedom in an effort to consolidate his increasingly autocratic rule."

Other social media users criticized the visit as well:

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Texas Democrat Demands Federal Probe of Police Response to Uvalde Shooting

"State officials have provided conflicting accounts that are at odds with those provided by witnesses," said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro.

Jake Johnson ·

'No Time to Waste': New Nationwide March For Our Lives Protests Set for June 11

"Together, we rose up four years ago. One million of us demanded change. We built a movement. We voted for new leaders. And the gun deaths increased. Now is the moment we march again."

Brett Wilkins ·

'We Need Fewer Guns in Schools, Not More': Teachers Reject GOP Call for Armed Educators

"Teachers should be teaching, not acting as armed security guards," the president of a leading teachers' union asserted in the wake of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Texas.

Brett Wilkins ·

Faith Leaders, Teachers Mobilize for Protests at NRA's Houston Meeting in Wake of Uvalde Massacre

"Don't look away," said one advocacy group. "Rally against the NRA."

Julia Conley ·

NY Appeals Court Rules Trump and Two of His Kids Must Testify in Financial Fraud Case

"Our investigation will continue undeterred because no one is above the law," said New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo