President Trump on Monday is set to meet with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House, and his advisers are reportedly warning him against a full-throated embrace of the far-right leader.
This will be Orban’s first formal White House meeting with a U.S. president since 1998, reports NPR, and Politico notes it’s the first White House visit by a Hungarian prime minister since 2005. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo previously met with Orban in February.
Orban, who has pushed restrictive immigration policies and limited press freedom, has been called “Trump before Trump” by the president’s former adviser, Stephen Bannon.
Trump’s current White House advisers, though, have urged him not to fully embrace Orban at this meeting, Politico reports, “despite the president’s own affinity for the leader.”
A few days ahead of the meeting, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, including Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), wrote a letter to the president expressing concern that “Democracy in Hungary has significantly eroded” under Orban. “We urge you to raise these issues in your meeting with the Prime Minister,” they write to Trump.
A senior White House official told Politico that Trump is “troubled” by this as well, although adding the president is “excited” for Monday’s meeting with Orban.
Read more: theweek.com