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


  1. Avatar Catharine Lawton says:

    A few typos. It is Roy Cohn
    (Not Cohen), and Robert Mercer (not Roger).

  2. Avatar György Lázár says:

    This is a very insightful piece. I hope that we’ll soon know more about JD Gordon’s unusual activities. He traveled to Hungary, gave interviews to Mandiner and also got paid by the Hungarians for his services. He is also a frequent guest at the Hun Embassy in Washington.

    In general, it seems that Trump thinks that Putin is a „strong leader” and the US should make a deal with Russia in order to break up the China-Russia love affair. He also thinks that this way the US can get a better trade deal from China. He is clearly not concerned about corruption, democratic values, Crimea… etc. Orbán cleverly saw the opportunity and offered to play the „bridge” between Putin and Trump. His handlers thought that this would have been a great opportunity for a small country and Orbán can play „international statesman.” Orbán & Co. still think that Trump-Putin link is inevitable.

  3. Avatar Kathryn Motard says:

    Can you clarify this: “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.”? By “above board” do you mean he had nothing to hide, was open…transparent…honest? Do you mean Trump was not in collusion or aware of “The Budapest Bridge” and is simply a pawn in your opinion? Thank you. Your articles are fascinating.

  4. @ Katheryn Motard:

    What I mean by this expression is this: Trump openly abetted the criminal act, and has gotten away with with murder. (Please recall his prophecy: If I were to shoot someone in the face in the middle of 5th avenue, I’d get away with it.) Trump openly urged the Russians to divulge the contents of their heist, to continue their criminal acts. He openly called on Wikieleaks – an organization his CIA Director calls an enemy of the US – to dump stolen property onto the political market, in order to help him to defeat his political opponent. The others in his gang, followed the covert road, and that’s what’s drawing the heat. Remember: The best way to rob a bank is to own one.

    • Avatar Kathryn Motard says:

      Thank you for your response. It is shocking how open and “above board” Trump and associates like JD Gordon and Gurka have been in their interactions with the likes of Putin and Orban. Putin, indeed, owns the bank that is Wikileaks. He has given Trump the keys. As taught by my attorney father, when you accept a gift you accept the terms that are attached. Trump publicly entered into a contract with Putin when he accepted the stolen fruits of Russia’s wikileaks. Thank you for helping point that out and please continue with your scholarly work. Thank you.

      • Avatar randolph bourne says:

        Given this response you might want to use a different phrase, as “above board” generally implies innocence and compliance. He may have been openly promoting Wikileaks etc., but he was not above board about this. He had sinister and underhanded intent. Above board would mean he is clear about the connection to Finkelstein, etc., and the manipulation he was involved in. This was hidden below board.

  5. Avatar Arthur Nádas says:

    Dear Mr. Göllner,

    I believe you wanted to refer to Robert (not Roger) Mercer. And the article would have been better and more credible with fewer ad hominem adjectives.

  6. Very educational. Thank you for your efforts in seeking justice for the majority of Americans and most of hunankind. It is almost unfathomable that we have so many traitors. Very disturbing to say the least.
    Please keep writing! Thank you!

  7. In the US, above board can imply out in the open, but usually is taken to mean legitimate, honest, and open, the opposite of Trump’s actions.

  8. Avatar Albrecht Neumerker says:

    Dear Mr Göllner. The name of the hungarian journalist is Zsolt Bayer not Bauer. Thank you for a very informative lecture.

  9. My dear attentive readers. Apologies for the typos, especially the Bayer one – since I’ve known the hate monger personally for years. He owes me some money. Some prefer not to mention him by name – I guess I am prompted by a peculiar Freudian urge to massacre the names of those who repulse me. (Roy Cohn, Robert Mercer and Zsolt Bayer. ) I know this is not the best way to get even. I know. Maybe this is why I have taken to calling Bayer’s boss ND. (National Disgrace) It fits the bill, as well as the Duck fits the Donald. My trusted editor will correct the spelling mistakes. I trust the Congressional Committees and the FBI will take care of the rest.

  10. Dr Göllner, thank you for this 2 part series as it was very educational!! Sir, you mentioned a few times that Finkie hates Hillary…question: why does Finkie hate Hillary?? Thank you!

  11. Are Finkelstein and Birnbaum Jewish? If so why would they collaborate with institutional anti-semites like Gorka? I’m afraid this might sound naive but it is a question.

  12. Great info! All makes perfect sense. Please share this with Rachel Maddow, @maddow if you haven’t already. She is our leading investigator (MSNBC) as you probably know. (Not to be nit-picky but I think you meant Roger Stone in this sentence: “One of the first questions the FBI, the House and Senate committees should ask Robert Stone, “) Thank you so much for your analysis.

  13. Let’s hope that Trump builds a good relationship with Russia and averts unnecessary friction loved by the Deep State of the US to continue profits for the shareholders of the MIC and Soros. Soros goes to Hungary under the lie of bringing freedom and democracy but wants to have a coup in Hungary with another of his Colour Revolutions funded agitators to overthrow a democratically elected leader such as he and Victoria Nuland did in Ukraine. Enough of infiltration by Soros his Russiaphobic behaviour.

  14. @ Marie

    “Are Finkelstein and Birnbaum Jewish? If so why would they collaborate with institutional anti-semites like Gorka? I’m afraid this might sound naive but it is a question.”

    The question is legitimate Marie. Here is the answer. politics makes for strange bedfellows.

    Finkie is also gay. He helped some of the most anti gay politicians get in power in the US and the world over. What’s the answer ? Same as above.

  15. @ Bill

    “Why does Finkie hate Hillary??”

    Beats me. Do you like spinach ?

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  17. If Gorka denies to be a member of the Hungarian Order of Vitéz, the follow-up question should be if his father was (to my knowledge he hasn’t made any statements about this; note: I have proof that his father was, he even received special decorations in the 1980s and 90s).

  18. Hello Andras: I am an attorney and investigative reporter in central Indiana and a fraternity brother and, formerly, good friend with the Vice-President’s brother. Trump’s election as POTUS has essentially ended that decades-long friendship as I feel that Mike Pence, whom I also know well, has his nose stuck so far up Trump’s ass that he won’t see the sunshine until all this madness ends. I am deeply interested in your investigation and have read with interest your writings. Keep it up, and if there is anything I can do from here in the USA to further your cause, please let me know. Trump and his minions need to go or it will be the “End Of The World As We Know It”. Curiously, that song by R.E.M., written decades ago has Donald Trump included in the lyrics!!

  19. I think Mike Pence is essentially a very good guy who has not been well informed on all these connections, although I mostly disagree with all of his political views, and should not go down with the ship. Is there any evidence that he got involved in all of this??

  20. Professor; the incident you keep repeating, when Trump the candidate made jokingly as; ‘Russia are you listening, or any one who hacked Hilary’s e-mails, if you have all those 30,000 e-mails, please release them. these guys ( pointing to the members of the press) will love you for it’.

    Your beloved Hilary claimed that she turned over all her work related e-mails pursuant to Obama’s Executive Order (# 13527) and law, she only deleted her personal e-mails that were to Bill and Chelsey.

    The Russians, or whoever, did NOT find any of those E-mails, but the FBI did. Over 30,000 e-mails. Several were absolutely “work-product” related E-mails. Several contained state secrets.
    Including names of secret operative agents.
    For years the State Department handled covert mission, that in previous time only the CIA did.
    Like the overthrow of the Quadafy regime in Lybia.
    As matter of fact, Hilary was entertaining Qudafy’s son while under Hilary’s instruction, his father was eliminated.

  21. Professor Gollner;
    You keep attempting to connect Sebestian Gorka to this story.
    Do not see how you may know how Gorka feels about anything. The only thing we know is that Gorka appeared at a ball, wearing a Bocskay jacket, and a medal of the Vitez.

    Mr. Gorka was born in England in 1970. His father was born in Hungary in 1930.
    So, it is absolutely sure that neither Sebestian Gorka, nor his father could have possibly received that medal. But all kinds of medals and decorations are sold in any flee-markets. Perhaps that is where Gorka obtained his medal.

    The Vitez order was established by Horthy, OK, back in 1920, as an attempt to help economically people, starting with those who fought and suffered in the war. (WWI. 1914-1918).
    The Vitez order was ended, and made illegal in 1947.
    Where I grew up in Hungary, in a small town, there was one person who received the Vitez order.
    He was a young gardener. spent 4 years at war, wounded repeatedly, he reached the rank of buck-sargent (szakaszvezeto). He used the awarded money to start the local hardware store.
    It greatly benefited the small farming community.
    You judge it as a fascistic act. May be that is why Rakosi confiscated it and closed it.
    Is it better to take anything away, or to give ?

  22. Professor; I wish to ad to my above comment about Trump’s remark as an invitation of whoever hacked Hilary’s e-mail ,to release all those 30,000+ “erased” e-mails of her, is NOT a criminal act.
    It is a First Amendment guaranteed right. Period.

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  24. Here in the USA, we all have seen it demonstrated on “60 minutes” by multiple experienced hackers under immunity that there is NO e-mail that can NOT be hacked within seconds.
    But to prove it is IMPOSSUBLE.
    No wonder nobody has ever succeeded proving who may have done any known hacking.
    It leaves NO fingerprints !

  25. Prof. Gollner,
    A great job! Try to get it to the mainline press and the McCain institute.

  26. Avatar Miklos Banfi says:

    Congrats Andras for the great job. It has been fascinating. It seems that for the second part even the trolls were excused, since they lost the battle against you after the first part and could not bare the shame:)

  27. Prof. Göllner,

    I’m sorry to say that although I completely share your views on the political situation in Hungary and on the nature of its fascist (light) regime I find the Budapest Bridge articles speculative and generally under par.

    A couple of examples, in addition to the minor mistakes pointed out already:

    I seriously doubt that “Budapest is home to approximately 1000 members of the Russian secret service, most of them in the possession of Hungarian passports” and that the FSB European headquarters are in Budapest. It’s a suspiciously nice round figure, could have been more innocuous if it included also agents and collaborators. Hear say won’t do with me.

    How are the “Hungarian passports provided for by Hungary’s pro-Russian Ministry of the Interior.” ? The Ministry issues ALL passports, but they CANNOT “be had for a hefty fee -300,000 Euros a pop “. The purchaser of a € 300 000 State Residency Bond + 50 000 fee, is given residence, not citizenship.

    And it is a bad idea to even mention in the context of international politics Imre Kerényi , a theater director (and twat), who had been widely ridiculed for his tasteless and dated propaganda products (utterly talentless picture series, distribution of free Basic Law Commemorative Edition copies, Basic Law Table,etc. For his political opportunism (from communist to MDF to Fidesz to Jobbik) and pathetic statements he has been not only been ridiculed, but successfully sued. He was moved backstage long ago.

    Keep your game up.

  28. Thank you, Professor. Your efforts are appreciated.

  29. Avatar Common Cents says:

    You say: ” US laws prohibit the Agency to pursue evidence outside the territory of the US. ”

    Please, enlighten me. What specific “US Law” prohibits that? You can cite a specific Public Law, or a specific US Code section that applies.

    I think your statement about that is in error.

    Also, the FBI has an office in Budapest, Hungary. The Hungarians have given the FBI broad powers to investigate criminal activity in Hungary. Hungary has granted the FBI probably the most access of any foreign nation. This was done specifically to investigate the Russian Mob.

    I’m skeptical that the FBI doesn’t have information about these events, and if they don’t, I’m skeptical that your account is better than the FBI’s information.

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