Bannon, Gorka, Yiannopoulos and Hungary’s foreign policy

Hungary’s foreign policy is in chaos. Even the most ardent supporters of the Orbán Government frequently criticize Hungary’s 39-year-old foreign minister Péter Szijjártó. They question his wisdom, political acumen and diplomatic skill. Szijjártó started his tenure by firing most of the country’s seasoned diplomats and replacing them with loyalists with no previous diplomatic experience.

The foreign minister has also found strange new advisors, among them Breitbart News Network alumni: Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka and Milo Yiannopoulos. (Bannon was Chairman of Breitbart, Gorka and Yiannopoulos were his hires and trusted lieutenants.)

Sebastian Gorka and Milo Yiannopoulos (right) – friends from Breitbart.

A couple of weeks ago Bannon was the star guest in Zürich, Switzerland at the Die Weltwoche event. Bannon declared that Orbán is like Trump; the press doesn’t want to write about his successes. Orbán is “a real patriot and a real hero,” he said, “a man of principles.” Orbán is “the most significant guy on the scene right now and this is the main reason we like him,” he added. The New York Times has even speculated that Bannon will meet with Orbán in Europe. (Read more about Bannon’s comments here.)

Sebastian Gorka, Amb. Ms. Réka Szemerkényi and Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó (right) singing the Hungarian National Anthem at the opening of the new embassy building in 2017 in Washington D.C.

Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s fired counter terrorism advisor, is a friend of Szijjártó. British-born Gorka speaks Hungarian and lived in Budapest. The Hungarian Police had an outstanding warrant on him which stemmed from a 2016 incident of “firearm or ammunition” abuse. Recently his name has disappeared without explanation from the police site.

Gorka loves to pose with guns.

Gorka is a political commentator on Hungary’s state controlled media and also a frequent guest at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington. For decades he maintained relations with the Hungarian far-right and has friends in the government. Gorka with his wife Katharine have founded a small think tank in Washington D.C. called the Westminster Institute. To my surprise, Hungarian Ambassador to Washington, László Szabó recently gave an openly racist and xenophobe presentation there claiming that “Hungary is a Christian country and wants to stay that way.” (Watch here.)

Ambassador László Szabó’s presentation poster .

Now another Breitbart alumni, the far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has been invited to speak by a group funded by the Hungarian government. Milo proudly announced his invitation from the Public Foundation for the Research of Central and East European History and Society, a far-right group dedicated to protecting the country’s “educational and cultural goods.” (Click here.)

Fast talking Milo is entertaining but vastly overrated as a political thinker. He is a gay “shock jock” who had to resign from Breitbart News after his pedophilia comments. (Watch a typical Milo’s interview here.)

On January 3rd President Trump wrote about Bannon and Co.: “Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.” Trump added, “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

We fully agree with President Trump’s assessment.

György Lázár

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