Former President Donald Trump reportedly appeared via video Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Budapest – the first time the event has been held overseas as the GOP huddles against Hungary’s authoritarian government.
Trump praised Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, according to Rolling Stone. Reports of the event are sparse as event organizers barred many US news outlets from entering.
“He’s a great leader, a great gentleman,” Trump said, adding that Orban “just had a really big election result” in April, when he won a fourth consecutive term as prime minister.
During the campaign, candidates from Hungary’s opposition parties were given five minutes of time on state television to make their case to voters.
Orban touted his control over the media in his speech to American conservatives on Thursday, telling them the way to power is “to have your own media.”
“It’s the only way to highlight the folly of the progressive left,” Orban said, according to The Guardian.
Trump said he was “very honored” to have supported Orban during the race.
“A somewhat unusual endorsement. Usually I look at all 50 states, but here we got a little sidetracked,” Trump said, according to Rolling Stone. “And I only did it because he’s a really good man and he’s done a fantastic job for his country.”
Orban has used more than a decade in power to crack down on immigration by stoking racial fears, rolling back LGBTQ rights gains and generally governing by harsh Christian values.
At CPAC Hungary, one of Orban’s most notorious allies also took the stage alongside Trump, according to The Guardian. Zsolt Bayer, a racist and anti-Semite who once referred to Jewish people as “stinky excrement,” gave a speech on Friday in which he reportedly spoke out against gender and racial inclusion.
Far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who spent a week in Hungary airing his show last year, was also scheduled to speak, former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and the French anti-immigration leader Marine Le Pen, among others.
The Huffington Gt