NPR

In Trump, Hungary's Viktor Orban Has A Rare Ally In The Oval Office

When the Hungarian prime minister meets with President Trump on Monday, it will mark a coming together of two leaders known for their nationalist worldviews and hardline immigration policies.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks to the media from Berlin on July 5, 2018. Source: Sean Gallup

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban visits the White House on Monday, his first formal meeting with a U.S. president in more than 20 years.

Bill Clinton received Orban, now one of Europe's most prominent nationalists, in 1998, back when the Hungarian leader was a 35-year-old reformist who had earned his pro-democracy street cred as an anti-Soviet activist. Orban had helped his country transition out of communism.

Today, Orban is running Hungary like a "soft autocracy," according to one biographer, and alarming the European Union. The Obama administration limited diplomatic ties with Hungary over concern that Orban is undermining democratic values.

But he's found a kindred spirit in Trump, a fellow nationalist. Trump's former chief

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
MoviePass Has Officially Shut Down, And We Don't Know If There Will Be A Sequel
The service announced Friday that it would be suspending service for an undefined amount of time.
NPR1 min read
Sunday Puzzle: It's Game Day
Listener Holly Ashworth of Oak Park, Ill., plays this week's puzzle with New York Times puzzlemaster Will Shortz.
NPR6 min readSociety
'We Don't Want To Die': Women In Turkey Decry Rise In Violence And Killings
"Domestic violence never happens because there's a problem with the woman. The men are killing. They are the problem," says a rights activist in Istanbul.