Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks at CPAC in Dallas, Aug. 4, 2022. Credit: LM Otero / AP

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was in Washington DC on Thursday. But the controversial autocrat wasn’t making an official state visit. Indeed, President Joe Biden had intentionally declined to extend a White House invitation to a man who has pursued a vision of “illiberal democracy” and cracked down on press freedom since taking power in 2010. Instead, Orbán was in town to participate in a panel discussion at the Heritage Foundation, a Christian conservative think-tank.

The authoritarian leader was introduced by failed GOP presidential candidate and aspiring authoritarian Vivek Ramaswamy, who has become a regular at the Hungarian embassy in DC over the past year. Orbán posted a slick video of his Washington visit on social media, including a clip of Heritage president Kevin Roberts gushing that Orbán has “a lot of fans here in the United States. You have a lot of people who are intrigued by policies you enacted.” 

According to information distributed by the prime minister’s press office to Hungarian […]

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