Politics: Putin and Hungary’s Orban helped sour Trump on Ukraine - - PressFrom - US
  •   
  •   
  •   

Politics Putin and Hungary’s Orban helped sour Trump on Ukraine

03:45  22 october  2019
03:45  22 october  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Ukraine's president calls for calm at nationalists' march

  Ukraine's president calls for calm at nationalists' march KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president is urging participants in a nationalist march Monday to avoid violence, amid growing anger at his peace plan for the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine. Kyiv is deploying thousands of police to watch over the march, expected to include nationalist and far-right groups protesting President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's policies. Kyiv is deploying thousands of police to watch over the march, expected to include nationalist and far-right groups protesting President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's policies.

Trump ’ s conversations with Putin , Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and others reinforced his perception of Ukraine as a hopelessly corrupt country — one that Trump now also appears to believe sought to undermine him in the 2016 U. S . election, the officials said.

Orban and Putin share an obsession with sovereignty -- the kind that critics would call unlimited personal power. Their goal is not to allow any external force to "I've read articles comparing Orban and Trump with Putin and Erdogan, but it' s part of some journalistic reality," he continued.

President Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine for information he could use against political rivals came as he was being urged to adopt a hostile view of that country by its regional adversaries, including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, current and former U.S. officials said.

Viktor Orban, Donald Trump standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and President Trump at the White House on May 13.© Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and President Trump at the White House on May 13.

Trump’s conversations with Putin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and others reinforced his perception of Ukraine as a hopelessly corrupt country — one that Trump now also appears to believe sought to undermine him in the 2016 U.S. election, the officials said.

Orban's party suffers major losses in Hungary's local votes

  Orban's party suffers major losses in Hungary's local votes Prime Minister Viktor Orban's dominant right-wing Fidesz party suffered large losses in Sunday's local elections in Hungary. Opposition candidates won the mayoral race in Budapest, the capital, and were also projected to win in 10 of the country's 23 largest cities. Opposition candidates won the mayoral race in Budapest, the capital, and were also projected to win in 10 of the country's 23 largest cities. In 2014, the opposition won just three of those races.

Russia's Vladimir Putin and Hungary ' s Viktor Orban are to meet on Tuesday. They both are nationalistic strongmen with a dislike for western liberalism. Orban helped found the Fidesz party during his time at the university, backed by George Soros, the same Hungarian -American billionaire

He' s rolled back democratic checks on his power, mused about creating a European ethnostate and erected a razor-wire fence to keep migrants out, angering the rest of the European Union.

Neither of those foreign leaders specifically encouraged Trump to see Ukraine as a potential source of damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, nor did they describe Kyiv as complicit in an unsubstantiated 2016 election conspiracy theory, officials said.

But their disparaging depictions of Ukraine reinforced Trump’s perceptions of the country and fed a dysfunctional dynamic in which White House officials struggled to persuade Trump to support the fledgling government in Kyiv instead of exploiting it for political purposes, officials said.

Rick Perry's departure has 'nothing' to do with Ukraine: White House spokeswoman

  Rick Perry's departure has 'nothing' to do with Ukraine: White House spokeswoman Energy Secretary Rick Perry's decision to step down by the end of the year had "absolutely nothing" to do with the controversy, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said on Friday. © Matthew Eisman/Getty Images Energy Secretary Rick Perry has found himself engulfed in the impeachment investigation. "This was in the works for quite a while," Grisham said in an interview with Fox News.In recent weeks, Perry has found himself engulfed in the impeachment investigation threatening Trump's presidency. Three Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives committees issued a subpoena on Oct.

BUDAPEST — George W. Bush dodged it. Barack Obama refused it. But on Monday President Trump will grant Viktor Orban , Hungary ’ s far-right prime minister, his first private audience with a president at the White House since he met Bill Clinton there in 1998.

WASHINGTON — President Trump lavished praise on Monday on Viktor Orban , the authoritarian prime minister of Hungary and one of Europe’ s leading nationalists, brushing aside concerns about his rollback of democratic institutions and warming ties with Russia.

Subscribe to the Post Most newsletter: Today’s most popular stories on The Washington Post

The role played by Putin and Orban, a hard-right leader who has often allied himself with the Kremlin’s positions, was described in closed-door testimony last week by George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, before House impeachment investigators, U.S. officials said.

Kent cited the influence of those leaders as a factor that helped sour Trump on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in the months leading up to their July 25 phone call — a conversation that triggered an extraordinary whistleblower complaint as well as a House impeachment inquiry.

U.S. officials emphasized that while Putin and Orban denigrated Ukraine, Trump’s decision to seek damaging material on Biden was more directly driven by Trump’s own impulses and Kyiv conspiracy theories promoted by his attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Trump viewed Ukraine as adversary, not ally, witnesses say

  Trump viewed Ukraine as adversary, not ally, witnesses say Behind closed doors, President Donald Trump has made his views on Ukraine clear: "They tried to take me down." The president, according to people familiar with testimony in the House impeachment investigation, sees the Eastern European ally, not Russia, as responsible for the interference in the 2016 election that was investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller. It's a view denied by the intelligence community, at odds with U.S. foreign policy and dismissed by many of Trump's fellow Republicans, but part of a broader skepticism of Ukraine being shared with Trump by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his key regional ally Viktor Orban of Hungary.

BUDAPEST — When President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia last paid a visit to Hungary , Prime Minister Viktor Orban was under siege for his autocratic style, Russia was isolated for its seizure of Crimea, and both men were called xenophobes for their hard-line stance on immigration.

Today, Orban is running Hungary like a "soft autocracy," according to one biographer, and alarming the European Union. The Obama administration limited diplomatic ties with Hungary over concern that Orban is undermining democratic values. But some analysts say the Hungarian leader has found a

In their early May phone call, Putin “did what he always does” in seeking to undercut the United States’ relationship with Ukraine, said a former U.S. official familiar with details of the conversation. “He has always said Ukraine is just a den of corruption.”

The efforts to poison Trump’s views toward Zelensky were anticipated by national security officials at the White House, officials said. But the voices of Putin and Orban took on added significance this year because of the departure or declining influence of those who had sought to blunt the influence of Putin and other authoritarian leaders over Trump.

Officials cited the departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, both of whom had backed U.S. military assistance to Ukraine but were no longer in position to protect that stream of funding when it was suspended in the weeks leading up to Trump’s July 25 phone call.

National security adviser John Bolton was also seen as a fervent backer of Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, but his relationship with Trump deteriorated rapidly this year before he was pushed out of the White House last month.

Trump embraces fellow autocrats abroad as he corrupts democracy at home

  Trump embraces fellow autocrats abroad as he corrupts democracy at home New revelations from a witness to Trump's corruption could also help advance impeachment.We are about to hear from a big witness in the Ukraine scandal: Acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr., who is set to testify to the House impeachment inquiry, potentially deepening the case against President Trump’s seemingly bottomless corruption.

Putin and Orban are due to discuss a number of issues including trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. The two men are also expected to touch upon international problems such as the Middle East and the renewed violence in east Ukraine .

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban , Budapest, Hungary , February About 85 percent of Hungary ’ s gas flows in from Russia. In 2015, Putin and Orban signed a new gas While Budapest went along with the EU sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine , it

“Over time you just see a wearing down of the defenses,” a former White House official said, describing the struggle to contest the influence of Giuliani, Putin and Orban.

The House impeachment inquiry is centered on Trump’s alleged attempt to use the power of his office to coerce Ukraine into taking measures that the president hoped would help him in the 2020 election.

There is no evidence that Putin spoke about Biden or endorsed Giuliani’s unsubstantiated claims that it was Ukraine — and not Russia — that had interfered in the 2016 election. Still, officials said that treating Ukraine as a pawn is consistent with Putin’s approach toward the former Soviet republic.

American policy has for years been “built around containing malign Russian influence” in Eastern Europe, a U.S. official said. Trump’s apparent susceptibility to the arguments he hears from Putin and Orban is “an example of the president himself under malign influence — being steered by it.”

The official and others spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of internal discussions at the White House and the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

In his testimony, Kent indicated that U.S. officials were encouraged by Trump’s initial phone call with Zelensky after his April election and hoped the president would see the new leader as a potential partner in long-standing U.S. efforts to help Ukraine fend off Russian aggression and battle internal corruption.

Judge orders State Dept. to begin producing Ukraine records

  Judge orders State Dept. to begin producing Ukraine records A judge has directed the State Department to begin producing within 30 days documents related to the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine. The records are sought under a Freedom of Information Act request by American Oversight, an ethics watchdog that investigates the Trump administration. U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper said Wednesday that representatives of the group should meet in the meantime with the government to discuss ways to narrow the request.He said he agreed with the organization that the records it sought were of public importance.

Trump tells visiting PM ‘You’re respected all over Europe’ but critics attack Orbán for eroding democracy and human rights.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban , a populist dubbed “little Putin ” by his opponents, has been critical of the U. S . and EU sanctions imposed on Russia for its actions in Ukraine . For the first time since his inauguration, Trump on Saturday had a phone call with Putin , which both the White House

Instead, Kent testified, Trump’s view of Zelensky and Ukraine seemed to sour in the ensuing months, with Trump voicing disdain for Kyiv, ordering the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine removed, blocking Vice President Pence from attending Zelensky’s inauguration and suspending the flow of $391 million in military and other aid to the country.

Trump spoke with Putin by phone and met with Orban at the White House in the weeks between Zelensky’s April 21 election and his May 20 inauguration. Trump also spoke with Putin on June 28, during a global summit in Japan, and by phone on July 31, days after the call in which he solicited a “favor” from Zelensky.

Trump has consistently refused to accept evidence that Russia interfered on his behalf in the 2016 election. Last week, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed that Trump had ordered aid to Ukraine suspended in part to compel Kyiv to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory that a hacked Democratic National Committee computer server was taken to Ukraine in 2016 to hide evidence that it was that country, not Russia, that interfered in the presidential election.

In a heated exchange at the White House last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif,) confronted Trump by saying, “With you, all roads lead to Putin.”

Trump turned to Putin for guidance on the new leader of Ukraine within days of Zelensky’s election. In a May 3 call, Trump asked Putin about his impressions of Zelensky, according to a Western official familiar with the conversation. Putin said that he had not yet spoken with Zelensky but derided him as a comedian with ties to an oligarch despised by the Kremlin.

Ukraine police detain suspected hacker wanted by United States

  Ukraine police detain suspected hacker wanted by United States Ukraine police detain suspected hacker wanted by United StatesThe 32-year-old man, whose name and nationality was not given, was detained in a hotel in Kiev where he was living temporarily.

The Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin for bilateral talks in Budapest on Thursday. Orban welcomed the Russian leader at the Hungarian Parliament Building, before both men proceeded into a closed-door meeting. The renewed violence in eastern Ukraine is

Donald Trump has praised Viktor Orbán during the Hungarian prime minister' s visit to the White House. At a press conference, the US president Mr Orbán is a divisive figure in European politics and has been criticised for moves to consolidate power and curb the power of the judiciary and media.

Before running for president, Zelensky starred in a television sitcom in which he portrayed the Ukrainian president.

The May conversation with Putin coincided with a White House visit by Orban that many in the administration had opposed because of the Hungarian leader’s moves to undercut democratic institutions in that country and his combative relations with U.S. allies in Europe.

“I can tell you, knowing the president for a good 25 or 30 years, that [Trump] would love to have the situation that Viktor Orban has, but he doesn’t,” David Cornstein, Trump’s ambassador to Hungary, said in an interview published by the Atlantic this spring.

The May visit from Orban began with an hour-long meeting between Trump and the Hungarian leader with no note-takers, officials said. Bolton and the Hungarian foreign minister joined afterward.

Senior U.S. diplomats said they had limited insight into the private conversation between Trump and Orban, let alone how Trump’s views of Ukraine have formed. But one official familiar with the encounter said that it became “clear that the meeting with Orban had solidified” Trump’s pessimistic view about Kyiv and Zelensky.

Orban’s grievances toward Ukraine are grounded in a historic border dispute and the claimed mistreatment of a Hungarian-speaking minority that resides in Ukraine. But Orban’s animosity toward Zelensky is also ideological, officials said, noting that Zelensky has positioned himself in opposition to Orban as a Western-leaning reformer.

White House and State Department officials had sought to block an Orban visit since the start of Trump’s presidency, concerned that it would legitimize a leader often ostracized in Europe. They also worried about Orban’s influence on the U.S. president.

“Basically, everyone agreed — no Orban meeting,” said a former White House official involved in internal discussions. “We were against it because [we] knew there was a good chance that Trump and Orban would bond and get along.”

The effort to keep distance between Trump and Orban began to fray earlier this year with the departures of senior officials and the emergence of new voices around the president. Among the most important was Mulvaney, who became acting chief of staff in January and was seen as sympathetic to Orban’s hard-right views and skepticism of European institutions. In Congress, Mulvaney’s former Freedom Caucus colleagues last year backed Orban’s efforts to kill a small U.S. grant designed to nurture independent media outlets in Hungary.

Mulvaney’s involvement in approving the Orban visit was one of several instances in which he overruled national security officials, officials said. At the same time, Mulvaney also facilitated an arrangement in which Trump directed other diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, to work with Giuliani on his Ukraine agenda.

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Julie Tate and Shane Harris contributed to this report.

Russia's Putin, Hungary's Orban to discuss TurkStream pipeline, nuclear energy .
Russia's Putin, Hungary's Orban to discuss TurkStream pipeline, nuclear energyRight-wing conservative leader Orban, in power since 2010, has pursued what he has hailed as good pragmatic relations with Russia. Some analysts, however, say the relationship is lop-sided, with Russian interests dominating.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 4
This is interesting!