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Trump and Orban exchange praise during Mar-a-Lago meeting

“He’s a fantastic leader,” Trump said about the Hungarian Prime Minister, who has urged the West to cut off financing for Ukraine
Orban Trump
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (left) and US Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a meeting in Mar-a-Lago on 8 March 2024. Photo: Orban’s twitter
Trump and Orban exchange praise during Mar-a-Lago meeting

Former US President Donald Trump and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban exchanged praise during a meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The meeting happens amid European worries that US aid for Ukraine would dwindle with a Trump presidency as Orban stymies EU efforts to supply military aid for Ukraine.

Trump called Orban a “fantastic leader” and joked about criticism of the Hungarian premier’s illiberal tendencies, stating, “He’s the boss. No – he’s a great leader, fantastic leader,” Bloomberg reported.

The meeting, which included a tour of Trump’s residence, dinner with former First Lady Melania Trump, and an hour-long discussion with senior aides, took place just a day after President Joe Biden accused Trump and Republicans of turning their backs on democratic ideals by blocking additional assistance for Ukraine.

Biden directly criticized the planned get-together at a political rally in Philadelphia, saying Orban “doesn’t think democracy works” and was “looking for dictatorship.”

Orban, who has urged the West to cut off financing for Ukraine as the quickest way to force Kyiv to negotiate a cease-fire with Russia, posted a video on Facebook after the meeting, stating, “let’s be honest, it would be best for the world and for Hungary if Donald Trump returned to the presidency.”

The Hungarian leader’s visit to Mar-a-Lago is seen as an attempt to shed his black-sheep image and position himself as a potential bridge between Europe and the US, should Trump win the November election. Bloomberg reports that Orban’s government has cultivated ties with Trump allies for years, hosting satellite Conservative Political Action Conferences and right-wing influencers.

The meeting has raised concerns among European leaders, who are already worried about Ukraine’s ability to maintain its war effort without more US assistance and are bracing for Trump’s possible return to power. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who is expected to meet Biden at the White House on Tuesday, told reporters in Bucharest, “We all want peace, but nobody decent would agree to the peace on the conditions set out by Moscow and Putin.”

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