Mick Mulvaney is Hungary’s new best friend in the White House

I was quite surprised when the Hungarian Government issued an official report that on Friday, February 9, 2018 Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Capacities, had a one-hour meeting with Mick Mulvaney, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the White House. According to the Hungarians Mr. Mulvaney was “urging renewal of Hungarian-US relations.”

Hungarian Minister Zoltán Balog (left) and Mick Mulvaney in the White House.

Better US relations with the pro-Putin, pro-Iranian Orbán regime? Authoritarian Mr. Orbán has been trying to get an invitation to the White House since 2010. Now it seems that Minister Balog was able to beat him into the White House for the meeting with Mulvaney. Hungary also released several photos of Mr. Mulvaney, Mr. Balog and Hungary’s Ambassador to the US, László Szabó. By the way, Mr. Mulvaney has never confirmed the meeting.

According to the Hungarian announcement “they reviewed the economic and security policy aspects of Hungarian-US relations, and also spoke about the remarkable efforts the Hungarian government is making in the interest of persecuted Christians.”

Ambassador Szabó (left), Balog and Mulvaney (right) discussed the “renewal of Hungarian-US relations” in February, 2018.

This is strange. The 50-year old Mr. Mulvaney had no previous connection to Hungary. Why would he spend an hour of his precious time discussing this tiny European country’s “economic and security policy aspects” and treatment of Christian refugees? What does it have to do with the management and budget of the White House?

Well Folks, it seems that we got our answer. “We had a hierarchy in my office in Congress,” Mr. Mulvaney recently told 1,300 bankers and lobbyists at an American Bankers Association conference in Washington. “If you’re a lobbyist who never gave us money, I didn’t talk to you. If you’re a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.” (Read more about Mulvaney’s comments here.)

Now this is what I call honest and clear talk. Pay up if you expect face time with Trump administration officials.

The Orbán regime is spending millions of dollars on lobbying in Washington D.C. Hungary hired ex-Congressman Connie Mack who has signed a multi-year $5-million contract. Recently the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has hired a lobbying firm, BSI Public Affairs Inc., headed by Israeli lobbyists Tzvika Brot and Ariel Sender. There are also indications that non-profit Hungarian emigre organizations are also engaged in illegal political lobbying in the US. (Read more about Hungary’s lobbying in the US.)

György Lázár

16 Comments

  1. Don Hermiston says:

    I’m sure the illegal Hungarian Emigre groups lobbying Washington are small potatoes compared to AIPAC and the illegal Israeli groups who lobby Washington.

    • WTF are u talking about?
      This is Hun gov minister who somehow got there with no plausible purpose.
      It seems the choo-choo train syndrome is at work again – if Orban wants a hand shake in the WH he’ll rip the Hun taxpayers for whatever it costs and should get used to pay for the extremely expensive rulers’ follies.

  2. These are allegations that the FBI, investigative journalists and FARA should investigate. They are unlikely to do so, because Hungary is a very small potato in the eyes of American public or media. If the transgressor was Russian, it would be front page news. The violation of the rule of law, justice, civil liberties, that are basic values of the Western alliance, can be can sold to this White House at marginal cost.

    It would be a great public service, if someone, either a well prepared investigative journalist or a PhD graduate student, pulled back the curtain fully on the scandal, that we have been given a small glimpse of by Dr. Lázár.

  3. To “Don” let’s start picking on the Israeli GROUP/S as in plural now!
    Idiot ignorant!

  4. Just what interest the present Hungarian government might see of Orban visiting the White House, or in any other contact? Hungary does NOT receive any foreign or military aid. Even a photo-opp would not help much at all. So just what all this hula-balu is all about ? Can not think of anything else to BS about ?

  5. In an earlier report the readers were informed that Hungary cancelled its lobbying with the Mac firm and hired an Israeli outfit do its lobbying in the US.

  6. Yet another propaganda diatribe of Gyorgy Lazar against the Hungarian government that was reelected by an overwhelming majority. This time for illegal lobbying. I have followed Hungary related publications in Europe and America for over 60 years. It is unprecedented that someone would carry on such a protracted campaign of accusations with a tenor of supercilious arrogance, ranging from mere bickering to besmirching the reputation of his country. The vast majority of Hungarians living abroad seem to approve of the policies of PM Orban; 96% of those with voting rights voted for the government coalition. By the way, I was not one of them.
    This begs the question: who is paying for Mr. Lazar’s services? Is it a NGO, like the Open Society, or something else? This would be useful for the sake of transparency to include in the author’s biography that accompanies his prolific communications.

    • Joseph N
      For “supercilious arrogance, ranging from mere bickering to besmirching the reputation ” to calling “traitor”, listing “enemies” etc. see the Orban/Fidesz/state campaigns against the enemies of the day.
      One can “besmirch” the reputation of a country by equating it with its quasi fascist and totally corrupt regime, but we still make a difference.
      “The vast majority of Hungarians living abroad” ie over 500 000 were practically denied the right to vote.
      Others, chosen by the regime, could simply drop a letter or give it to the local Fid activist !? and the latter voted (surprise, surprise) 96% for the regime although even this is not sure as violations were reported in dozens of cases.

  7. @ Joseph Nagyváry

    “The vast majority of Hungarians living abroad seem to approve of the policies of PM Orban; 96% of those with voting rights voted for the government coalition.”

    For someone who claims to have been studying Hungary related publications in Europe and America for 60 years, you are awfully ignorant of the facts. My first year students in political science, and just out of high school know that close to 99% of Hungarians living abroad did not vote for Mr. Orbán’s party, let alone vote in the Hungarian elections. The ones that did participate are mainly elderly Hungarians, who belong to organizations that are financed and wooed by the Hungarian oligarch, using state funds, and a form of affinity fraud . For those who do not understand the meaning of affinity fraud, here is the standard Wikipedia definition:

    “Affinity frauds prey upon members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, language minorities, the elderly, or professional groups. The fraudsters who promote affinity scams frequently are – or pretend to be – members of the group. They often enlist respected community or religious leaders from within the group to spread the word about the scheme, by convincing those people that a fraudulent investment is legitimate and worthwhile. These scams exploit the trust and friendship that exist in groups of people who have something in common. Because of the tight-knit structure of many groups, it can be difficult for regulators or law enforcement officials to detect an affinity scam. Victims often fail to notify authorities or pursue their legal remedies, and instead try to work things out within the group.”

    Mr. Nagyváry. I think you need help. Here is an analysis I wrote, that may help you to recover your ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. The cure consists of 5 steps, I’m only providing you with one of them. You can find the others easily. http://hungarianfreepress.com/2015/07/08/rca-viktor-his-masters-voice-in-canada-from-the-medium-to-the-message-5/

  8. HFP
    The event is really incomprehensible from any other angle, but it’s also incomprehensible how can an admin official act as a paid lobbyist at the same time.
    A better investigation is due here.

  9. StrandedinSopron says:

    “Just what interest the present Hungarian government might see of Orban visiting the White House, or in any other contact”

    Oh, Mr Bendeguz, you should have appreciated by now that one of Mr Orban’s main weaknesses (unlike real dictators such as Putin or Erdogan) is a very fragile ego, inferiority complex and/or an exaggerated sense of his place on the world stage.

    One of things which makes him most bitter in the foreign arena is that because of his toxicity very, very few Western EU leaders have state visits to BP- the one who did last year, the Irish President (the son of immigrants, gay 🙂 ) pulled no punches about the democratic direction of Hungary when he did come.

    Of course, it matters not one jot (apart from the apparent legal ramifications mentioned above) in real political terms whether he has that photo-opp with President Trump. It will him not one more vote.

    But it would make Viktor the happiest PM in the EU. Something to show the folks back in Felcsut and all those Budapest “know-it-all” middle-class libs who have laughed at the short, portly country boy all his life.

    It is exactly the same reason why he always make sure he is sitting in the front seat in full camera view at all the big soccer events like the World Cup and Champion League Finals: “Look at me, sitting beside Sepp Blater (oops!) and Franz Beckenbauer, who is laughing now losers???!!”

    I kind of understand it but it is a little bit pathetic for our nation’s leader a man of 54 (?) to worry so much about such trivialies.

  10. Robert Morrison says:

    @Chris please stop removing my comments in the name of freedom of expression. It is disheartening to see that you suppress the voice of dissidents. This is what your side fights in Russia, isn’t it?

  11. @Observer, @Andras Gollner,
    I appreciate any help I can get being an elderly Hungarian-American. But, of course, I am fully aware that only a tiny sliver of Hungarian speaking emigrants had casted votes in the recent election. Many of us tried, but reinstating the Hungarian citizenship is a lengthy process, requiring certified translated documents of all marriages and divorces and all the children, so I gave up after wasting six months.
    Don ‘t fool yourself that I, like many of those who voted for the Fidesz coalition, could be a victim of affinity fraud. I was educated in Zurich (6 years) and in Cambridge. I was a good enough Hungary expert to be called upon to participate whenever a Hungarian government delegation of the socialist kind came to visit the old President GHW Bush at his Library at Texas A&M University. I am pretty much immune to propaganda, be it from the left or the right. In contrast, you seem to be hopelessly biased in your judgements, failing to understand the reasons why the right wing/center possesses such a huge majority in Hungary. You might need help yourself in this regard. As a starting consideration: most citizens of Hungary are xenophobes and proud of it; they are good students of history. They understand the issues of the day surprisingly well. They have a choice of information, from right or left. (There is a greater variety of political opinions published in Budapest than in Austin.) They have good reasons for rejecting the darlings of the western democracies, Gyurcsany et al. They understand that Putin’s Russia is different from Khrushchev’s Soviet Union. Calling the freely elected government of Hungary nazi and fascist is a calumny of a high order.
    Now, my present expertise is Stradivari violins, but I could dispense some free enlightments on other subjects in my limited time on the planet.

    • Reality Check says:

      You were trained as a biochemist. Not as a historian or poltical scientist. You lost credibility when you accused Gyorgy Lazar of being under the pay of Soros. Doing so you just sound like a parrot of the Fidesz regime. That hardly suggests you are immune to propaganda. And it is absurd for you to suggest that the members of a US city have less access to information than those in Hungary. I do not recall the US press being bought up en masse by cronies of any recent US administration. Niether do I have respect for anyone who exaggerates to make a point. Lazar called OV’s regime authoritarian, not nazi and fascist. Fidesz changes to the constitution, election laws, the judiciary, attacks on NGO’s, all result in the consilidation of power in the hands of a few. Elections are still free, but are no longer fair. Calling it authoritarian is clearly justified. Please spare me any more of your “enlightenment”.

    • Joseph N
      I appreciate your education, your precision in English and agree that the majority here are xenophobes, but they are also poorly educated (in civics in particular ) and provincial/parochial too, due to the language isolation or else.
      This contradicts your point that “they understand the issues of the day” – in fact they don’t and very much so, as many peoples in history before them to their own peril.
      Being on the ground, having education, work experience and keen interest in these subjects I assert they the Orban regime ticks almost all boxes in the definition of fascism as offers by Prof Robert Paxton in Anatomy of Fascism.
      Yes, there is a (diminishing) variety of information/media and political opinions in Budapest, but the countryside is totally dominated by the regime’s propaganda and political machines. Eg. that a nonexistent “Soros plan” was made the central point of an election in an economically struggling country is a stark proof of the above.
      The gov of Hun was not freely and fairly elected, for all the reasons set out in detail, eg. in the above relation it was also elected on false premises.

  12. @ Morrison

    Don’t be a cry baby. Act like a man, and please try to hold that stupid tennis racket properly. Your inability to get a hearing is no doubt due to your underhanded racketeering.

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