Famous US TV-commentator Tucker Carlson during recent visit to Budapest filmed an interview with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Tucker asked him – what exactly is going on in Ukraine right now given the propagandic opacity of news in America.
“It is not just a misunderstanding, it is a lie,” Orban begins, when asked about the fact that American media continue to claim that ‘Ukraine is winning’ the war. “To understand the Russians it’s a difficult thing, especially if you have an ocean between you and Russia.”
Orbán points out that Western political conversations often center on freedom, while Russian conversations focus on keeping the country together, and warns against the dangerous implications of the U.S. strategy, particularly for countries like Hungary that are geographically closer to the conflict.
Carlson asked Orbán, “are you worried about being crushed by the US?”
“It’s dangerous,” replies the Hungarian PM, recognizing that “I am not the favorite politician of the liberals, but nobody’s perfect.”
But, he adds that he doesn’t care because there are more important values required to uphold a civil society:
“There are certain things that are more important than me, than my ego: family, nation, god.”
The Hungarian approach is simple, he explains, “Washington is far away, Russia and Ukraine are close,” noting that decisions made in the US can have immediate impacts for his nation.
“It’s dangerous is my answer. So we should not neglect the importance of that fact and when the United States and this administration does not like you, or considers you as an enemy or a having a backtrack, it’s dangerous in international politics,”
Reflecting on NATO’s stance in the Ukraine war, Orbán exclaims: “This is a bad strategy, we have to stop it” adding that “we cannot beat [the Russians], we will not kill their leader, they will never give it up, they will invest more.”
“What finally will count is boots on the ground, and the Russians are far stronger.”
Orbán then praises former US president Trump: “Call back Trump. That’s the only way out. Call back Trump,” Orbán said.
“Because you know, you can criticize him for many reasons. I understand all the discussion. But the best foreign policy of the recent several decades belonged to him. He did not initiate any new war. He treated nicely the North Koreans and Russia, even the Chinese. You know, he delivered a policy which was the best one for the Middle East, Abraham Accords. So he had very good foreign policy.”
“He’s [Trump] criticized because he’s not educated enough to understand foreign policy. This is not the case,” Orbán told Carlson.
His most ominous warning comes last: “This is a very dangerous moment now,” he concludes, adding that it should be obvious to everyone that “the third world war is knocking on our door.”
Speaking at MCC Feszt in Budapest, Hungary, Tucker Carlson said that the “people who run” the United States right now are “dangerous and insane,” and it can be seen in the way they treat Hungary even though it is “not exporting their views to anybody else.”
“This is a country concerned with its own safety and prosperity. That’s, in the words used to hear a lot in the United States, a country that is minding its own business,” he said.
He said that, because of that, if he were running the State Department, he’d say “let’s take a pass on Hungary. We’ve got bigger problems.”
“But they can’t,” he said of current American leadership. “They hate Hungary. And they hate it not because of what it’s done, but because of what it is. It’s a Christian country and they hate that. And that’s the truth. And nobody wants to say it, but it’s true.”
He claimed that the reason some call Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán a “Putin suck-up” is because “one thing that Russia and Hungary have in common is, a big part of the population identify as Christians.” That Christian identity, he said, is “not fine with Washington at all.”
“It’s deeply offensive to see that alive in Europe,” he said. “And that is the core. It’s not rational. It’s, this is happening on a gut level, but it is expressed through policy.”
Here’s a partial transcript of Carlson’s remarks:
– I love the United States. It’s my country. To restate, I was born there and I’m never leaving. And I love my country. But the people who run it right now are dangerous and insane. And you can see that in the way they’re treating your country.
– Which, even if you don’t like the values of the majority of Hungarians, even if you reject the Hungarian Constitution, is Christo-centric and think that Viktor Orbán is a bad guy and you hate goulash. Even if everything about Hungary is repugnant to you, if you’re in the United States, you’re still not going to spend a lot of time hassling Hungary because Hungary isn’t hassling anybody else.
– Hungarians have views, your government has views, and even if you disagree with them, you must acknowledge that Hungary is not exporting their views to anybody else. You’re not rolling across the border to reclaim territory you lost after the first World War. Though, that could happen. But it’s not happening now anyway. Transylvania is safe in Romanian hands at the moment.
– But it’s true. This is not an expansionist power. This is not a power that’s crushing weaker nations with sanctions. This is not a power that’s exporting something ugly to the rest of the world. This is a country concerned with its own safety and prosperity. That’s, in the words used to hear a lot in the United States, a country that is minding its own business.
– And so even if you disagree, which for the record, I do not, but even if I did and I ran the State Department, I would say, you know, let’s take a pass on Hungary. We’ve got bigger problems.
– But they can’t. They hate Hungary. And they hate it not because of what it’s done, but because of what it is. It’s a Christian country and they hate that. And that’s the truth. And nobody wants to say it, but it’s true.
– And it’s not a particularly provocative Christian country. I don’t think most Hungarians go to church. It’s not a theocracy. You’re not required to believe in the catechism to live here. It’s nothing like that. It’s a soft Christian country, the softest ever. 300 years ago, people would look at modern Hungary and say, that’s not a Christian country. But by modern standards, it’s one of the last countries that identifies as a nation built on Christian precepts.
– Again, not imposing them on anyone else. But that is enough to incite our policymakers in the United States. And that is exactly why they hate Russia, by the way.
– I’m not a fan of Russia, and if I was, I wouldn’t admit it to a Hungarian audience. When I hear Orbán described as a Putin suck-up, I think, really? That image of Orbán being pushed against a police car with a baton to his neck by Soviet-backed policemen comes to mind. Yeah, he’s probably not pro-Russian, just guessing.
– But why did they make that charge? Because one thing that Russia and Hungary have in common is a big part of the population identify as Christians. Now, why would that be provocative? A huge part of Malaysians identify as Muslim. Fine with me. But it’s not fine with Washington at all. It’s deeply offensive to see that alive in Europe.
– And that is the core. It’s not rational. This is happening on a gut level, but it is expressed through policy. Policies that I’m ashamed of that most Americans don’t even know exist.