Did Trump really invite pro-China, pro-Putin Orbán to the White House?

Viktor Orbán is one of the first European leader to secure an invitation to the Trump White House. At least this is what Mr. Orbán says. The Hungarian Prime Minister is known for making grandiose statements and organize publicity stunts.

Now Mr. Orbán says that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump invited him to Washington. The interview was published by small Hungarian daily Világgazdaság and according to Mr. Orbán, Mr. Trump made it clear to him “he thinks highly of Hungary” and he told Mr. Trump that he had not been to Washington in a long time because he was considered a “black sheep.” Mr. Trump laughed and said that “so was he.”


Mr. Orbán is the authoritarian leader of Hungary who admires Russian president Putin and Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan. He is pro-Chinese, Hungary acts as the „gateway” to Europe and Orbán supports the construction of a new „Silk Road” to flood Europe with Chinese goods. A couple of weeks ago he urged Central European leaders to elevate their relations with China to the level of “strategic partnership.”

Mr. Orbán is also pro-Putin. He opposes sanctions to Russia and is ready to build a giant Russian financed nuclear power plant. The New Republic called him Vladimir Putin’s little helper in Europe.

Mr. Orbán considers the United States a declining power and has stated that all Western welfare states, crippled by debt, are in decline, so that the future belongs to work-based Eastern (e.g. Chinese) economic model. According to Mr. Orbán, his country is “accelerating away” from a troubled West which is even now running deeper into crisis. (Read more here.)

Hungary today is one of Europe poorest countries and Orbán is frequently criticized for centralizing power while weakening democratic checks and balances. He has stifled the media and built fences on Hungary’s southern borders to stop the flow of migrants.

Mr. Orbán also supports the cult of Horthy, Hungary’s pro-Hitler dictator of the last century. In 2009 Mr. Orbán warmly greeted the statue of Albert Wass in the city of Pomáz. Mr. Wass was a convicted WWII criminal who compared Jews to rats in his writings.

Today Mr. Orbán is isolated. EU leaders tend to avoid him and Mr. Orbán is desperate to get an invitation to the US to legitimize his shaky regime.

In 2010 Mr. Orbán’s Foreign Minister, one time Communist police informant Mr. János Martonyi planted a news story that a meeting between President Obama and PM Orbán was “imminent.” President Obama has never invited Mr. Orbán to Washington.

We have doubts about Mr.  Orbán’s official invitation to Washington. In a brief statement the President-elect’s staff has confirmed that Mr. Trump has recently spoken with the leaders of Greece, Hungary, Panama, Slovenia and Sweden. They did not mention that Trump has invited Mr. Orbán to the White House.

György Lázár

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