Trump: Orban is doing tremendous job

The US President Donald Trump praised Hungarian PM Viktor Orban on Monday, saying he is doing a "tremendous job in so many different ways”, news wires reported. "Probably, like me, a little bit controversial, but that's okay ... You've done a good job and you've kept your country safe,"Trump said before their meeting in the Oval Office.

The Hungarian PM returned the favor by complimenting Trump and highlighting their similar hard-line positions on immigration.

Once considered a centrist as during a first stint as prime minister in 1999 he backed Hungary's membership in NATO as a way to reduce Russian influence, Orban is now a hero to right-wing nationalists. Saying he wants “an alternative to liberal democracy," Orban has instituted restrictions on immigrants and refugees seeking to enter his country. Orban also successfully pushed for a new law that, among other things, made it a crime to help immigrants in Hungary. The measure sparked widespread condemnation including in the EP.

Orban shrugged off a question Monday about whether Hungary's democracy was eroding on his watch. "We are proud to stand together with the United States on fighting against illegal migration, on terrorism, and to protect and help the Christian communities all around the world," he said. And Trump also came to his defence, asserting that Orban is "highly respected all over Europe" and that "he's done the right thing, according to many people, on immigration."

Some US lawmakers and international organizations, citing the authoritarian record of the Hungarian prime minister whom critics call the "Viktator," said Trump shouldn't have even granted a White House meeting to Orban, much less lauded him in public, news wires reported.

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