Tucker Carlson recently interviewed Former President and the frontrunner for the Republican nomination Donald J. Trump on his X page. Prior to that, he took on the role of the interviewee and sat down with our very own website for another interview. And now, he was the one asking the questions again, and his subject this time was none other than Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary.
The two men had a conversation before, back in August 2021. It is actually still one of the most-viewed videos by Carlson on YouTube, garnering nearly 7 million hits since its publishing. Those were very different times then, about half a year before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Thus, evidently,
the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war was a major topic in their most recent interview.
At the start, PM Orbán confidently asserted it is ‘impossible’ for Ukraine to win the war, just based on the sheer manpower advantage Russia has. He also claimed that the Russian nation’s top priority has always been keeping their immense country together, not individual freedom, therefore they will never give up the war, and will never give up on their leader, Vladimir Putin.
To Carlson’s question of what a post-Putin Russia would look like, Orbán called on his experience dealing with the resignation of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1999, when Orbán was in office already. As he recalled, the international community feared Russia would fall into ‘anarchy’ then, and he would not want to risk that again with the ousting of Putin. To Carlson’s suggestion that that is the exact goal of the US State Department, Viktor Orbán replied, ‘If that is the goal, it’s a mistake’.
The Hungarian head of government went on to call attention to the ethnic Hungarians dying in the war, and stressed that the everyday Hungarians on the street understand that another world war is a very real possibility. If Ukraine were to run out of troops and Western powers would send reinforcements, that would lead to World War III ‘immediately’.
The controversial blowing up of the Nord Stream pipeline was next on the agenda, about which PM Orbán shared some fascinating insight. In the wake of the September 2022 incident, he and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić jointly declared that should anything like that happen to the TurkStream, supplying gas from Russia to Hungary via Bulgaria and Serbia, they would consider that an act of terrorism and act accordingly. The PM also made it clear that their message was not addressed to Moscow.
Viktor Orbán on Donald Trump
About Tucker Carlson’s other recent hit interview subject, Former US President Donald Trump, Viktor Orbán had this to say:
‘Call back Trump, that’s the only way out [of the war]. You can criticise him for many reasons, I understand all the discussions. But, you know, the best foreign policy of the recent several decades belonged to him. He did not initiate any new wars. He treated nicely the North Koreans, and Russia, even the Chinese. He delivered the policy which was the best one for the Middle East, the Abraham Accords…He is criticised for not being educated enough to understand the world—that is not the case. Facts count. His foreign policy was the best one for the world.’
This is not the first time PM Orbán expressed his desire to see President Trump back in office, he did so at CPAC Hungary 2023 as well. In this recent interview, he also called the 45th POTUS ‘a friend of Hungary’.
The Ukrainian administration did not leave the interview uncommented.
The Kyiv government’s foreign affairs spokesperson sarcastically noted on Facebook that Ukrainians were already starting to worry because Orbán had for some time not called for ‘the stopping of arms deliveries to Ukraine and the legitimising of Russian aggression.’ Oleg Nikolenko added: ‘We don’t know how it is Hungary, but we in Ukraine do not trade in our territories or our sovereignty. And neither will the rest of the world. And the Russian leadership…will pay for all the evil they committed against Ukrainians.’
The interview was filmed only days after the 20 August national celebrations in Hungary. On that note, Tucker Carlson asked ‘How do you get a country that is grateful to be Hungarian?’. In response, Viktor Orbán said:
‘We are a historical nation. No relatives, nobody speaks the same language around us: Germanic and Slavic [languages], no Hungarian. So, therefore, to maintain the language, to maintain the culture of this country is a big achievement in itself. So we celebrated, even yesterday, that we did it for more than one thousand years. That we are still Hungarians.
And to be Hungarian, we are very proud of it.
We love the nation, we love the country, and we are proud of it.
It’s not very mainstream political thinking of today’s Western societies, but in Hungary, we are still very patriotic, Christian, and committed to these values.’
About other differences between the Hungarian and the Western ways of thinking, he described the latter as ‘egocentric’, while the former as having family, God, and the nation at its centre point.
When he was confronted with the left-wing accusation that he is a ‘puppet of Putin’, PM Orbán reminded the audience about two instances in Hungarian history. In 1848, the Imperial Russian Army was called in by the Habsburgs to quash the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence; and in 1956, the Hungarians rose up against the oppressing Soviet forces. He believes these are assurances that no Russian-friendly leader could ever get democratically elected in Hungary, so he is not one either.
Carlson and Orbán ended their captivating discussion with Carlson asking if the Hungarian PM ever considered indicting his opponent ahead of the 2022 Hungarian election, a clear reference to Donald Trump being indicted four times by now (on a total of nearly 100 counts). To this, Orbán answered that this would never be done in Hungary, as ‘that was done by the Communists’.