Former President Donald Trump endorsed Hungary’s far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in the Eastern European nation’s upcoming parliamentary election Monday, saying he has done a “powerful and wonderful job” in the role.
“Viktor Orbán of Hungary truly loves his Country and wants safety for his people,” Trump said in a statement released by his Save America PAC. “He has done a powerful and wonderful job in protecting Hungary, stopping illegal immigration, creating jobs, trade, and should be allowed to continue to do so in the upcoming Election.
“He is a strong leader and respected by all. He has my Complete support and Endorsement for reelection as Prime Minister!”
Orbán has served as Hungary’s prime minister since 2010 and is known for his hardline immigration policies and for causing controversy over LGBT issues. Some critics have even labeled the 58-year-old an “authoritarian,” accusing him of dismantling Hungary’s democratic institutions, fostering corruption and cracking down on judicial independence and critical media outlets.
Last summer, the prime minister accused his fellow European leaders of acting like “colonialists” in criticizing a law prohibiting the “display or promotion” of homosexuality or gender reassignment in Hungarian television shows, films and sexual education programs.
“They want to dictate what laws should take effect in another country, they want to tell us how to live our lives and how to behave,” Orbán said of the critics who challenged the law at a Brussels summit, adding that the opposition was a result of “bad reflexes caused by their European colonialist past.”
Orbán was shunned by the Biden administration last month, as Hungary was the only European Union member state not invited to participate in the White House’s virtual Democracy Summit.
Trump has been known to endorse controversial foreign leaders in the past, including Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro and Orbán both supported Trump’s bid for re-election in 2020. The Hungarian prime minister was also the first EU leader to endorse Trump’s White House bid in 2016 and reportedly helped fuel the 45th president’s mistrust of Ukraine along with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Hungarian elections are scheduled to take place in April or May of this year. Orban and his ruling Fidesz party will face a coalition of six opposition parties, and recent polls suggest a close race.