Orbán announces Pompeo visit to Budapest – State Department does not know about it

A couple of days ago Prime Minister Viktor Orbán hinted that preparations were underway for a visit to Budapest by US Secretary State Mike Pompeo. Foreign Minister Péter Szijjartó was more specific; he told the media that Pompeo’s visit will take place in mid-February. Newspaper headlines appeared praising the “excellent relations” between the two countries and celebrating the after eight years a US Secretary of State would be visiting Budapest. (See here a Hungarian headline.)

Hungarian headline of upcoming Pompeo visit

When Budapest radio station Klubradio asked for verification from the State Department, spokesperson Heather Nauert told them that they didn’t know about it. At this moment no visit was planned. Oops! (Klubradio announcement – in Hungarian.)

Hungarian politicians and diplomats also use photo tricks to mislead the public. Here is how it works.

A Hungarian diplomat attends a charity event where important politicians appear, sneaks next to someone prominent and pretends to be engaged in a conversation.

Réka Szemerkényi Hungary’s Ambassador executed the trick beautifully when at a Red Cross event in Florida she walked up to President Trump. Szemerkényi smiled for a moment and her aide snapped a picture. Trump has a “Who is this woman?”-look; Melania doesn’t even seem to notice her. The resulting photo appeared in Hungary with the headline: “In Washington, Hungarian Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi Builds Relationships with the Trump Administration” (See it here.)

Amb. Szemerkényi snaps a valuable photo with President Trump.

Today Ms. Szemerkényi works at the Washington think-tank Center for European Policy Analysis and advertises herself as a politician with a “very good and close personal relationship” with Trump. According to an article by the National News Agency of Ukraine: “Dr. Réka Szemerkenyi is a well-known economist and diplomat. Before focusing on academia in CEPA, she had served as the ambassador of Hungary to the United States and is known for having established a very good and close personal relationship to U.S. President Donald Trump right after he took the office. She had been a long-term member of Viktor Orbán’s government before arriving on a diplomatic mission to the U.S.” (Read the entire article here.)

For the record: Szemerkényi has never been invited to the Trump White House nor had an official meeting with the President. I have the feeling that Trump may never have heard of her.

The „queen” of photo manipulation is Hungary’s UN Ambassador Katalin Bogyay. The 62-year-old clever self-promoter has built a career on communication tricks.

Nikki Haley and Katalin Bogyai.

Katalin Bogyai and Nikki Haley.

One example is her „photo series” with Nikki Haley, the recently resigned US UN Ambassador. Here are some for your review. My favorite is when she grabs Nikki’s arm with the “Go girl!” look.

It seems that Nikki Haley does not know Bogyay; Haley never posted a photo with her.

György Lázár

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