Trump praises Orban as ‘tough’ defender of Christians

US President Donald Trump will welcome Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to the White House for talks on trade energy and cyber security

US President Donald Trump will welcome Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to the White House for talks on trade energy and cyber security

US President Donald Trump meets with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the Oval Office of the White House.

"We are proud of Europe's Greek, Roman, Jewish and Christian heritage and also proud of the contributions Hungarians have made over the past one thousand years to that culture", Orban said.

MARTA PARDAVI: We've had clients in the past few years who've been fired from their jobs for simply expressing a political opinion that was not supportive of the current government. "But she wasn't holding her breath that President Trump would raise any of that, even with a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally". The senators said they are "profoundly concerned" about the close relationship between Orban and Russian Federation, which has allowed President Vladimir Putin's government to evade USA sanctions and extraditions.

"Highly respected. Respected all over Europe", Trump said.

Trump, to some extent, is letting him out of the penalty box, because he's been shunned for a long time.

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Trump said it was a "great honour" to host Orban in the White House and praised him for keeping Hungary safe. "You have really put a block up, and we appreciate that very much". Former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland says the Obama administration was insisting on democratic reforms first. Orban was bound and determined to take lessons from Vladimir Putin's playbook and consolidate power and further restrict the media, et cetera. They say the visit is important as Trump seeks to pull Hungary back from recent alignments with Russian Federation, reward members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that increase their commitments to defense, limit China's global reach through 5G networks and sell US weapons overseas. Pompeo also has emphasized the risks of doing business with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, which has significant operations in Hungary, and said there are dangers to allowing "China to gain a bridgehead in Hungary".

KELEMEN: She says Orban's government sent two suspected Russian arms dealers back to Russia, denying a US extradition request.

In this March 15, 2018 photo, people taking part in a march against Prime Minister Viktor Orban flash the lights of their mobile phones in Budapest, Hungary.

Several Democratic members of the House of Representatives, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, called on Trump to cancel his meeting with Orban, citing similar concerns as well as his anti-Semitic and xenophobic comments.

Orban has overseen the re-writing of Hungary's constitution to strengthen his control over parliament and an extensive re-design of the country's electoral map to favour his conservative Fidesz party. This can be seen in the fact that prominent Hungarian opposition politician Peter Marki-Zay was received at the US State Department on the same day.

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