IN WHAT has been widely derided in the Western MSM as a ‘sprawling’ interview with the former Fox News host, Tucker Carlson, Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban dropped some truth bombs about the US, Ukraine and Russia. Tucker goes where angels fear to tread and he’s been getting it in the neck for making the most of his new freedom on Twitter, now rebranded by Elon Musk as X. Orban’s view of the war in Ukraine contrasts sharply with much of the West’s coverage, and (until this recent Telegraph reality check) its heroic assumptions about Ukraine’s prospects of not just taking back Russian-held territory but of destroying Putin altogether.
But as Carlson points out at the start of the interview it’s pretty shocking just how little information the American (and British for that matter) public are receiving about what is really happening there. We get one view. But why would we not be interested in different one – not least from a nation that shares a border with Ukraine or from its leader who has been dealing with the Russians all his life? Carlson reminds us that Orban grew up under Russian occupation and, as a young man, was arrested and thrown into jail by Russian-backed police for his efforts to liberate his country; that as PM he’s dealt regularly with Vladimir Putin. The bottom line is that Viktor Orban understands and knows Russia and Ukraine. That’s why Carlson returned to Hungary for his second interview with Orban since the war began to ask him what exactly is happening in Ukraine right now.
The headlines are Orban’s insistence that:
· The only path to ending the war in Ukraine would be the re-election of Donald Trump to the US presidency, praising Trump’s foreign policy while blasting President Joe Biden’s administration and its approach to the war. Regardless of the criminal charges Trump faces for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election, returning the former president to office would be ‘the only way out’ of the conflict.
· Any suggestion that Ukraine could defeat Russia a lie: ‘It’s not just a misunderstanding. It’s a lie. It’s impossible. Everybody who’s in politics can understand the logic, the figures, the data. No way . . . The Russians are far stronger, far more numerous than the Ukrainians.’
· The multiple indictments of Trump, including for allegedly mishandling classified documents are a misuse of government power that would be unthinkable in Hungary: ‘To use the justice system against the political opponents — in Hungary, I think it’s impossible to imagine. That was done by the Communists. It’s a very Communist methodology to do that.’
· Biden’s State Department drive to get Hungary’s government to improve its rule of law and human rights record, despite Hungary being a Nato member and US ally, is to treat them worse than the Russians.
You can watch the full interview here.
You can read a full transcript of the speech here.