Hungary Summons US Envoy After Biden’s ‘Dictatorship’ Comment

(Bloomberg) -- Hungary summoned the US ambassador after President Joe Biden said Prime Minister Viktor Orban was out to build a “dictatorship.”

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Biden, at a campaign rally last week, slammed Donald Trump for meeting with Orban at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Biden said that Orban has “stated flatly that he doesn’t think democracy works — he’s looking for a dictatorship.”

“We don’t have to take such lies from anyone, even if the person happens to be the president of the United States,” Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Tuesday at a briefing. He said his deputy had summoned US Ambassador David Pressman to protest the remark.

Orban traveled to the US last week where he met with Trump, whom he’s endorsed ahead of November’s presidential election. Orban didn’t meet with Biden administration officials during his trip, which included a stopover in Washington.

The current US administration has criticized Orban’s more than decade-long consolidation of power, ties with Russia and China as well as the Hungarian leader’s slow-walking of NATO expansion and European Union support for Ukraine.

Read more: Trump Lavishes Praise on Orban During Fete at Mar-a-Lago

Trump praised Orban on Friday, while poking fun at criticism of the Hungarian prime minister’s self-proclaimed illiberal tendencies.

Orban “is a non-controversial figure because he says, ‘this is the way it’s going to be,’ and that’s the end of it,” Trump joked to a room of attendees at his Florida resort, according to video of the event posted by Orban on Instagram. “Right? He’s the boss. No — he’s a great leader, fantastic leader.”

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