The Budapest Bridge: Hungary’s Role in the Collusion Between the Trump Campaign and the Russian Secret Service (Part 2)

This is the continuation of Part 1 of Dr. András Göllner’s essay, which appeared in HFP on Thursday


In the first part of this series, we argued, that the key players in Trump’s electoral scam have slipped under the FBI’s radar because US laws prohibit the Agency to pursue evidence outside the territory of the US. We also argued, that working with the Hungarian Ministry of the Interior, an adjunct of the Russian secret service, would be the kiss of death to any American investigation.

We offered concrete evidence of the Orbán government’s payment of millions to influential Republicans, such as Connie Mack IV, with the aim of whitewashing the Orbán regime’s ties to the Russian secret service. The publicly available information that we accessed is but the tip of the iceberg, of a massive effort by Hungary to mislead Congress and American public opinion.

It is not our job to tell the FBI or US Congressional bodies how to pursue their job. But it is our duty to inform the representatives of the American people in which direction they should look in pursuing the truth. The second instalment of this report is designed with this purpose in mind.

The electoral impact of the Russian hackings

Evidence about the impact of the Russian hackings on the outcome of the 2016 US elections is so overwhelming that it’s blinding. Trump’s principal campaign message was, that Hillary Clinton cannot be trusted to fix the problems that plague America. She was portrayed day after day, as “Crooked Hillary” the woman who belongs behind bars, rather than in the White House. Every single time, the Russians released some of the DNC’s stolen e-mails, they were feeding this narrative and added oxygen to Trump’s fire.

It is important to acknowledge, that Donald Trump himself, was above board: he openly abetted Putin to disclose what Russia’s secret services stole from the DNC’s data base. The impact of the Wikileaks disclosures is irrefutable. Their impact on Clinton’s trustworthiness rating can be retroactively measured and verified. These leaks measurably increased Clinton’s negatives, played into the Trump campaign’s narrative, decreased her competitiveness at critical moments of the campaign, and especially in the marginal battleground states. While presidential candidates may lie, numbers do not.

The architects of the scam

In our first installment, we argued, that the dynamic behind the numbers was not an accident but was part of a conscious campaign strategy, developed by a trusted Trump advisor, Arthur J. Finkelstein, whose modus operandi is to remain completely out of the public limelight. Even Finkelstein’s closest associates acknowledge his genius in evading detection. Larry Weitzner, CEO of political consulting firm Jamestown Associates, says this about his mentor: “He prefers to work behind the scenes and let the candidate do the talking, unlike other [consultants] who prefer to be Fox TV stars.” A CNN report on Finkelstein had this to say about him: “He is the stuff of Hollywood: A man who can topple even the most powerful foes, yet so secretive that few have ever seen him. Finkelstein has been compared to criminal mastermind Kaiser Sose in The Usual Suspects, who lay so low that some doubted he really existed.”

Finkelstein was Trump’s pick for the anti-Hillary onslaught. Trump knew him well, and used him on previous occasions. He too is a member of the gang that admired the techniques of Roy Cohn, the brain child of McCarthyism, the man, who developed the science of making accusations stick without proper regard for evidence. Finkelstein has been instrumental in numerous Republican victories in New York state. His entire life was dedicated to demonizing Democrats and progressive ideas. And most importantly, he spearheaded the “Get Hillary” campaign in 2006 – he held a decade long personal grudge against Hillary. Finkelstein fit Trump’s aspirations like a fine leather glove fits a hand.

Finkelstein spent most of his time during the Trump campaign in Budapest, off the publicly disclosed campaign payroll. Until recently, and parallel to his “hidden” role in the campaign, he was in virtually daily contact with Hungary’s pro-Russian prime minister. Leakage of the hacked documents, according to our sources was coordinated through Budapest, the European HQ of the FSB, and with Orbán’s knowledge. It is Orbán’s personal ties to the players on “The Budapest Bridge”, that makes him a liability now in the White House. He is drawing too much heat, as the Congressional investigations begin to cast a wider net.  Orbán was hoping for an early visit with Trump, as a token of the American President’s gratitude. With the Congressional investigations under way, plans have changed. In a fit of anger, Mr. Orbán recalled his Ambassador to Washington, Réka Szemerkényi.

We have learned that the London based joint company, set up by Finkelstein and Habony at the start of the Trump campaign (Danube Business Consulting Ltd) played an important role in the transfer of the hacked documents to Assange and Wikileaks. We suggest that apart from Finkelstein, his American consulting partner in Hungary, George E. Birnbaum, and Finkelstein’s Hungarian affiliate, Árpád Habony, Tamás Lánczi, the CEO of Danube Business Consulting should all be questioned under oath. The financial records of the company should be scrutinized, with the assistance of the Scotland Yard. But the net should involve all the players we have named in our first installment.

The line of questioning of those who used the „Budapest Bridge” is also critically important. One of the first questions the FBI, the House and Senate committees should ask Roger Stone, and under oath is this: Does he know of Finkelstein’s “silent” role in the campaign? Was he in contact, during his visits to London with Tamás Lánczi, the Director of Danube Business Consulting, Ltd, and did any of his discussions with Lánczi pertained to the hacked documents of the DNC and their transfer to Wikileaks ?

One of the first things the FBI should do, along with the Congressional intelligence Committees, is to examine J.D. Gordon’s Hungarian agenda book. Gordon was Jeff Sessions’ deputy during the campaign, and served as National Security Advisor to the Trump campaign. He travelled six times to Budapest, the European Headquarters of the Russian secret service. He should be questioned under oath and asked point blank: Who paid for his visits to Hungary, during the campaign? Why was it so important for him to spend so much time in this small, politically insignificant country, as a member of the Trump campaign team? Did he meet Finkelstein or Habony in Budapest, or Lánczi in London? Who were the oligarchs or officials he met in Hungary, and did he ever examine his contacts’ connections to the Russian secret services? Does he know anything about the corrupt passport business run by Orbán’s government? He should also be questioned under oath, why he would classify the Orbán regime as the Trump presidency’s “model” when Orbán, publicly declared, that his government’s “model” is Communist China, and Putin’s Russia, and Erdogan’s Turkey?

Hungary today is anything but a democracy. According to a press release, on March 21 of this year, Hungary’s Civil Liberties Union, and more than one hundred of the country’s top non-government organizations notified the world, that the Orbán regime has declared war on Hungary’s civil society. The freedom of the press is highly restricted. Two years ago, Republican Senator John McCain, referred to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as a “neo-Fascist dictator”.  Things have become even more desperate since then. . Last week, Hungary’s highest ranking privately owned university – the Central European University – was the victim of a retroactive law, that singled it out for special treatment and without any consultations, because its principal donor is the US financier, George Soros. By the end of year it will have to shut its doors, like its sister University in St Petersburgh. Most international experts, refer to the Orbán regime as Russia’s Trojan Horse in the Western alliance. Given its anti-democratic, pro-Russian track record, it took many Hungarians by surprise, that top Trump advisor J.D. Gordon traveled to Budapest during the campaign and declared that „The team of President-elect Donald Trump deeply admires the Hungarian leader. With Trump in the White House, a new chapter will be opened in American-Hungarian relations. Mr. Trump and Mr. Orbán will become good friends”? Could Trump’s friendship with Putin’s Hungarian disciple hold the clue to how Russia manipulated the margins in the battleground states, the margins, that according to Finkelstein’s pick for the top polling post in the Trump campaign, Tony Fabrizio, led to Clinton’s defeat?

Similar questions should be put to all the other Finkelstein operatives in the US, especially to ex-Republican Congressman Connie Mack VI who is being paid millions by the Orbán regime, to cover up the Hungarian government’s duplicitous relationship with Russia’s secret services.

Liberty Bridge, Budapest

Last but not least, Sebastian Gorka should be made to testify under oath. What was he doing in Hungary between 1992-2008, before he came to America, and became a close advisor of Donald Trump? Is he, or is he not a member of the notoriously anti-semitic Order of Vitéz in Hungary, an order created by Admiral Horthy, the man who declared war on the USA during WWII? If Gorka covered up his membership in this order, that was created to „keep out Jews” and to protect „the purity of the Hungarian blood”, he should be immediately fired from his White House post, and his US citizenship should be revoked.

Mr Gorka should be asked under oath, if he had any contact during the campaign with the CEO of Danube Business Consulting Ltd, Tamás Lánczi, an old friend of his from Budapest, and part of the shaddowy circle of people with ties to Russia’s secret services. (Tamás Lánczi’s father, András Lánczi was Gorka’s Hungarian PhD thesis supervisor.) Gorka’s questioners should begin, by asking how he got to be working for the ex-communist stooge, Ernő Raffay, who became Deputy Minister of Defense in Hungary, and is best known for snitching on democrats in the communist era, and writing anti-Semitic books after 1990? Why did Gorka work for the neo-fascist, anti-Semitic journal, Demokrata, for years, undermining democracy in Hungary? Why did he work for 15 years alongside ex-communist stooges, neo-nazis, and pro-Iranian radicals in Hungary, who spread hatred about America, and idolise Vladimir Putin to this day?

In case Gorka claims ignorance about the political views of his friend and associates, here are some public statements from two of them, who are, to this day, the closest collaborators of the Hungarian Prime Minister – András Bencsik and Imre Kerényi. We have verifiable public statements from Gorka’s other political associates in Hungary, such as Tamás Molnár, a co-founder of Gorka’s extremist Party, from Zsolt Bayer, the notorious anti-Semitic hate monger, and another pro-Iranian member of this influential circle of friends, the shadowy István Lovas, who masquerades under many an alias. Their public conduct should ban them from any travel to the US. The congressional investigations should explore the ties between these pro-Iranian, pro-Russian extremists and Sebastian Gorka.

András Bencsik, is a former communist Party secretary, and was already well known as an anti-Semitic hate-monger when Gorka worked with him. Bencsik is a member of the Order of Vitéz, an order, that has sworn to uphold the values that Hitler’s most trusted Hungarian ally, Admiral Horthy stood for, until the end of WWII. Bencsik is not only a Hitlerite, but feels, along with Viktor Orbán, that Putin’s autocracy is the way forward for humanity. No wonder, Trump thinks so highly of the Russian dictator, when one of his closest advisors is a former protegé of András Bencsik, Hungary’s best known Putin fan. This is what Bencsik had to say about Vladimir Putin, and this at a time, when Gorka worked for him in Budapest: “Russia has finally shut the door on a chaotic 20th century…and has now embarked on clearly delineated, collectively derived path towards its national interest, one based on tradition, faith, and strength …in a very short time, Putin and Medvedev will determine the fate of world history” (András Bencsik, Demokrata, May 14, 2008.Translation by this author.)

Gorka’s other Hungarian comrade in arm is, Imre Kerényi, who is, to this day, a senior advisor to the Hungarian autocrat, Viktor Orbán. Imre Kerényi was also a loyal communist party member prior to the fall of the dictatorship. He quickly remodelled himself into an anti-American pro-Russian, pro-Iranian advocate during the time Gorka associated with him in Hungary.  This is what Kerényi has to say about America, Iran, and Putin’s Russia. “We are on the threshold a World War III, which the USA will lose…The American high-tech will be destroyed by a white powder.” (Imre Kerényi Médiaegyensúly. Budapest. Kairosz Publishers. 2003. pg. 263.Translation by this author.) In the 2006 Hungarian national election campaign, Mr. Kerényi spoke the following unforgettable words as he campaigned on behalf of his leader, Mr Orbán: “I can reassure all, that pretty soon, there will be a little mound where today, the White House stands in Washington, and on this mound, goats will be grazing peacefully”  (ibid.,) While Gorka worked in Kerényi’s circle, the latter declared publicly, that “The USA is the world’s most despicable country, and even Hungary’s former overlords, the Russians are more likeable than the USA.” In the same speech, Orbán’s current senior advisor argued that Hungary’s political role model should be Iran, and the global Muslim resistance movement that is fighting the Americans in Iraq and elsewhere. (See: Tamás Bihari. “For Kerényi, the Muslims show the way” Népszava. February 28, 2006.) When Orbán, was asked for his views about Kerényi’s hatred of America, he replied, “I wish I had more people like him on my team.” With friends like Viktor Orbán, does Mr. Trump really need any enemies?

To this day, many people are puzzled why Trump and many on his campaign spoke so glowingly of Putin and his Hungarian disciple, Viktor Orbán. Many wonder why Viktor Orbán was the first and only European leader to publicly endorse Trump at the start of the campaign. This series has removed the blanket of secrecy, that shrouded “The Budapest Bridge” and the secretive “Merchant of Venom”, Arthur J. Finklestein, who swore to “get Hillary” for his master. We identified many of the players who traversed this bridge, and provided cover for the collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian secret service. With the backing of “Big Data” moguls like multi billionaire Roger Mercer, and an army of social media trolls, these people not only rigged the 2016 elections but delivered a fatal blow to the American body politics. It is not an exaggeration to say, that until now, they got away with murder.

András Göllner

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