Biden condemns Trump and Orban meeting at Mar-a-Lago

US President Joe Biden sharply criticized a meeting between his predecessor and election challenger Donald Trump and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “Do you know who he's seeing at Mar-a-Lago today?” Biden asked on Friday at a campaign appearance in Philadelphia with a view to Trump and his private estate in the state of Florida. “Orban from Hungary, who has stated that he does not believe that democracy works and who wants a dictatorship.”

Biden added: “I see a future in which we defend democracy, not weaken it.”

Orban met Trump at Mar-a-Lago on Friday. The right-wing nationalist Prime Minister published a photo of himself and the ex-US President and presidential candidate on Facebook that evening and wrote: “Make America great again, Mr. President.” He took up Trump's campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”

Those close to Orban said that the prime minister's visit was about building relationships between conservatives in Hungary and the USA – and about the “advantages that an election of President Trump in November could bring.”

The right-wing populists Trump and Orban have had friendly relations for years, while the Hungarian head of government's relationship with Biden is characterized by tensions. Such tensions arose, among other things, because of Hungarian resistance to Sweden's NATO accession, which Budapest only recently gave up – and generally because of Orban's Russia-friendly stance in the midst of the Ukraine war.

Trump wants to run against Biden in the election on November 5th and is heading for his re-nomination as the Republican presidential candidate. Given Trump's autocratic tendencies, Biden describes the election as a fateful election for US democracy.