- Tucker Carlson is spending the week in Budapest and met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
- He also plans to speak at a far-right conference in Hungary on Saturday.
- Orbán spent $US265,000 ($AU360,030) to arrange an interview with Carlson in 2019, per a government watchdog.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday evening announced he would be broadcasting his show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” this week from Budapest, as he visits the Hungarian capital and meets with the country’s populist prime minister, Viktor Orbán.
Carlson is also billed to speak Saturday at a far-right conference in Budapest called MCC Feszt, according to its website, in a program titled “The World According to Tucker Carlson.”
-Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 2, 2021
His announcement was made just after he met with Orbán, the Hungarian leader who on Monday posted a Facebook photo of the pair smiling while seemingly in conversation.
Carlson previously commended Orbán for his policies rewarding Hungarian families for having more children to address a declining birth rate in the country.
“Hungary’s leaders actually care about making sure their own people thrive,” he said on his show in 2019. “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.”
Also in 2019, Orbán’s government paid $US265,000 ($AU360,030) to a Washington, DC, lobbying firm to coordinate an interview with Carlson’s show, according to Anna Massoglia, an investigative researcher for the government-transparency watchdog Open Secrets.
-Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) August 2, 2021
Last year, the Hungarian parliament passed emergency laws that allowed Orbán to rule without term limits and introduced jail terms for those spreading disinformation about COVID-19. Critics fear he may use those laws against his opponents and critics.
The US-based human-rights group Freedom House said in 2020 that Orbán’s government had “dropped any pretense of respecting democratic institutions.”
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.