‘Proud of you’: Trump writes gushing letter to Hungary’s authoritarian leader Viktor Orbán

Mr Orbán posted the note on Instagram with a ‘cool’ emoji

‘Shame on you Orbán’ protest hits Budapest

Hungary’s far-right prime minister Viktor Orbán has shared a picture of what appears to be a very warm letter sent to him by Donald Trump.

In it, Trump wrote: “Thank you for your beautiful letter and for your generous support and encouragement on behalf of the citizens of Hungary.”

He continued: “I am grateful for your continued friendship and enduring commitment to fighting for the ideals you and I cherish: freedom, patriotic pride, and liberty.”

In bold felt tip pen underneath the formal letter, he added a postscript. “Great job on Tucker (Fox) Proud of you!”

Mr Orbán posted a snap of the letter on Instagram, captioning it with a sunglasses emoji and a message saying: ‘Thanks for watching.”

Mr Trump’s letter referred to an appearance made by the Hungarian leader on Fox News earlier this month, in which he was interviewed by conservative host Tucker Carlson.

Mr Carlson presented the Central European country in an overwhelmingly positive light, even going so far as to say it was more “free” than the US.

He said: “Who is freer? In what country are you more likely to lose your job for disagreeing with the ruling class’s orthodoxy? The answer is pretty obvious, though. If you’re an American, it is painful to admit it as we have discovered”

Critics have described Orbán’s leadership as openly authoritarian – he describes himself as an advocate of “illiberal democracy” and throughout his time in office has systematically dismantled many of the country’s democratic institutions.

Last year Hungary passed a law allowing Orbán to rule by decree, alarming many critics who oppose his anti-immigration, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT policies.

Mr Orbán called Donald Trump “a great friend of Hungary” during the interview, and praised the former US president’s “America first” foreign policy.

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