Donald Trump: I’m a big fan of Hungary!

American President-elect Donald Trump reportedly told Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that he is a “big fan of Hungary,” after which he promised over the telephone to invite the controversial Hungarian leader to the White House following his inauguration. It was mainly Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Péter Szijjártó who gave us a peek into what apparently transpired in the telephone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Orbán.

According to Mr. Szijjártó’s account, Mr. Trump began the telephone conversation by  thanking the Hungarian prime minister for the support that he received from the Hungarian American community. “It meant a lot to him that a large number of Hungarian Americans lined up behind him, and this has been of much significance in terms of the victory,” said Mr. Szijjártó, paraphrasing the American president-elect. It is somewhat confounding, however, as to why Mr. Trump would thank a foreign leader for the purported domestic political choices of a diaspora community in the United States.

Mr. Trump also reportedly told Mr. Orbán that he respects him personally, as well as Hungary’s economic achievements under Mr. Orbán’s tenure and then promised “exciting times for the world,” adding that he is looking forward to working together with Hungary and with the Hungarian prime minister in specific.

Mr. Szijjártó deduced from this telephone discussion that both Mr. Orbán and Mr. Trump share a “completely new perspective on the challenges facing the world.” He then suggested that many of the foreign policy and economic ideas that played a role in Mr. Trump’s campaign have already been implemented in Hungary, since Mr. Orbán took power in 2010. Presumably, Mr. Szijjártó is referring to Hungary’s anti-migrant, xenophobic policies and campaigns, as well as its interventionist, statist economic policies, which redistribute wealth to political cronies and oligarchs.

Mr. Orbán also offered a small insight into his telephone discussion with Mr. Trump. Apparently, Mr. Orbán told the American president-elect that as Hungarian prime minister, he is a black sheep on the international stage.

Mr. Orbán can have his cake and eat it too. Photo: November 24, 2016. Facebook

Mr. Orbán can have his cake and eat it too. Photo: November 24, 2016. Facebook

“He invited me to Washington, at which point I told him that it has been a long time since I visited, as I am considered a black sheep. He laughed and simply said ‘so am I'”–recounted Mr. Orbán.

“Mr. Trump will be an American president who is not restricted by ideology–so he will be an open-minded man,” added Mr. Orbán.

Hungarian Ambassador in Washington, Réka Szemerkényi–one of Mr. Orbán’s political appointees and a fiercely loyal Fidesz supporter–bumped into Mr. Trump at a public event. She quickly shook his hand and had an assistant take a grainy photograph from behind, allowing her to tweet: “Very honored to meet President-elect #DonaldTrump yesterday. Hungary looks forward to working closely with the Trump administration.”

Réka Szemerkényi with Donald Trump.

Réka Szemerkényi with Donald Trump.

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