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Why Is Tucker Carlson in Budapest? Fox Host Meets Hungary's Far-Right Leader Viktor Orbán

Newsweek logo Newsweek 8/3/2021 Emma Nolan
Tucker Carlson, Viktor Orban are posing for a picture: Tucker Carlson and Viktor Orban Image 1: Tucker Carlson attends Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  Image 2: The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban speaks at the press conference during the 30th Anniversary of the Visegrad group on February 17, 2021 in Krakow, Poland. The heads of state of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel meet on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Visegrad Group. © Omar Marques/Rich Polk/Getty Images Tucker Carlson and Viktor Orban Image 1: Tucker Carlson attends Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Image 2: The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban speaks at the press conference during the 30th Anniversary of the Visegrad group on February 17, 2021 in Krakow, Poland. The heads of state of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel meet on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Visegrad Group.

Tucker Carlson announced on Monday that his show is broadcasting this week from Budapest, Hungary, to coincide with his visit with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Tucker Carlson Tonight will be airing from the Hungarian capital as the Fox News host also plans to attend a far-right conference during his stay.

The event is called MCC Feszt, and lists Carlson as a speaker for a segment titled "The World According to Tucker Carlson."

"We're in Budapest all this week for Tucker Carlson Tonight and a documentary for Tucker Carlson Originals," Carlson tweeted on Monday night. "Don't miss our first show here starting tonight at 8pm ET on #FoxNews."

He posted a photo with Hungarian leader Orbán, who also posted a photo of himself conversing with Carlson to Facebook on Wednesday.

Carlson's show was broadcast from Budapest on Monday night, where he confirmed it would be airing from there for the rest of the week.

Orbán is seeking a fifth term in office in 2022 and facing a tough challenge from an opposition bloc.

Carlson has lauded Orbán and his government on his show before, praising Hungary's anti-immigration policies and labeling it a "pro-family country."

"Hungary's leaders actually care about making sure their own people thrive. Instead of promising the nation's wealth to every illegal immigrant from the third world, they're using tax dollars to uplift their own people," he said on his program in 2019.

During the same episode, he also said of Hungary's birth rate: "Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has a different idea. Instead of abandoning Hungary's young people to the hard-edge libertarianism of Soros and the Clinton Foundation, Orbán has decided to affirmatively help Hungarian families grow."

Insider reports, citing investigative researcher Anna Massoglia, that the Orbán government paid $265,000 to a DC lobbying firm in 2019 to arrange an interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Orbán has been the subject of much criticism from many world leaders since he was elected in 2010 due to human rights issues in Hungary and for the autocratic control over the country's media.

His government is currently under fire over findings by an international investigation that it used powerful malware to spy on politicians, journalists and other business figures through their smartphones, The Associated Press reports.

On Sunday, July 25, protesters hit back at Hungary's rules to restrict "homosexual propaganda" as a Pride march went ahead in the capital.

The Hungarian government is planning to hold a national vote to exhibit public favor for a new law that bans the depiction of homosexuality and gender reassignment in school or media content for minors.

Newsweek has reached out to Fox News for comment.

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