Szijjártó defends Orbán’s endorsement of The Donald

July 28, 2016

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“The American presidential election is up to the American people. We are not making statements or interfering [with the election], but we have a right to express our opinion about what we hear. It has become clear…. during the American campaign who thinks what about foreign policy and immigration. What the Democrats think goes against our own interests. What the Republican candidate thinks goes [along with what Hungary thinks],” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said at a press conference Thursday morning, reports Hungarian news site 444.hu.

Szijjártó’s remarks come after Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s endorsement of Donald Trump on Saturday during a speech at the annual Tusványos Free University summer camp and Fidesz jamboree in Băile Tușnad, Romania.

Orbán’s endorsement was heard round the world as the Hungarian prime minister seems to be (to the best of our knowledge) the only head of government to offer an endorsement of the Republican party’s presidential nominee.

(There is some dispute over this: in early June, Reuters reported that a column appeared in North Korea’s DPRK Today describing “Trump as a ‘wise politician’ and the right choice for U.S. voters in the November 8 U.S. presidential election.”)

The Orbán government has been especially sensitive to foreign criticism of its dismantling of democratic institutions and the creation of an “illiberal” state, frequently dismissing such criticism as foreign meddling in Hungary’s internal politics.

Orbán and other government and Fidesz spokespeople frequently allege that the Obama administration wishes to unleash a wave of Islamic terrorists on Europe.  In his speech endorsing Trump’s foreign policy, the Hungarian prime minister said that policies pursued by the Democratic Party pose a threat to Hungary.