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After years on the outs, Trump welcomes Hungary's far-right nationalist to the White House

Senior Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Congress told Trump in a letter on Friday they were concerned about Hungary's "downward democratic trajectory" and its close relationship with Russian Federation. He last visited the White House for one-on-one meetings in 2001, during his first stint as prime minister, but was refused a meeting with the President, instead resigned to meeting only with then-Vice President Dick Cheney. "You look at some of the problems they have in Europe that are tremendous, because they've done it in a different way than the prime minister".

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, in the Oval Office on May 13, 2019 in Washington, DC.

He has also advocated restricting immigration to ensure Hungary remains a racially and culturally homogenous society.

US President Donald Trump on Monday praised Hungary's hardline authoritarian Viktor Orban as a leader respected throughout Europe who kept his country safe with his crackdown on immigration. "Orban was essentially running a political platform on the basis of an anti-immigration message", said Berschinski, now a senior vice president at Human Rights First. And I know he's a tough man, but he's a respected man. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press". His visit Monday comes only after Trump met with the leaders of the other three former communist states in the Visegrad region - Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He has sought a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin despite Russian meddling in the 2016 election and has praised his own relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with whom he has held summits in Singapore and Vietnam.

Trump had already attracted significant criticism - including from Republicans in Congress - for his decision to meet with Orban.

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Critics of Orban say he peddles anti-Semitic tropes in his attacks on George Soros, the Hungarian Jewish billionaire and liberal donor, and that his government has distorted Holocaust history by seeking to shift full blame for the fate of Hungarian Jews on Germany. "Under Orban, the election process has become less competitive and the judiciary is increasingly controlled by the state".

Orban has been in office since 2010 but never had a White House meeting with President Barack Obama.

The one thing that I would say as a caveat is, a lot of Europeans aren't going to like this meeting.

In this April 7, 2018 photo, a man walks by an anti-migration billboard from the Hungarian government, on a street in Budapest.

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