Meeting of great minds: Orbán welcomes Trump as savior of Europe

Hungarian commentators found Viktor Orbán’s endorsement of Donald Trump baffling. One of them, Szabolcs Panyi of Index, suggested that Viktor Orbán simply misspoke during his speech at Tusnádfűrdő/Băile Tușnad on July 23.

No one could have been so foolish, Panyi argued, as to endorse a presidential candidate who had just announced that he as president would disregard NATO’s Article 5, which is the cornerstone of the North Atlantic Alliance. Article 5 provides that an armed attack against one or more of the members of the alliance in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all. As far as Trump is concerned, those countries who don’t pull their weight in the alliance will be left in the lurch, among them Hungary with its measly defense budget of 0.7% (instead of at least 2%) of the GDP.

Then there is the story of likely Russian involvement in the release of damaging documents from the National Democratic Committee via WikiLeaks just a day before the opening of the Democratic Convention. It is a well-known fact that Trump is a great admirer of Vladimir Putin, whom he considers a strong leader who is “rebuilding Russia” and who “does his work well.” At one point Trump went as far as to say that, even if Putin hired people to kill his critics and opponents, “at least he’s a leader,” not like George W. Bush. Trump’s admiration of Putin has been amply returned. On several occasions the Russian president expressed his approval of Trump, and the Russian propaganda machinery is full of praise for Trump’s foreign policy ideas. His stance on NATO was especially well received.

The western media is full of stories that the Russians, by illegal means, are trying to tip the scale in Trump’s favor in the election campaign. (And, of course, today Trump egged the Russians on.) So, the endorsement of Trump by Viktor Orbán, who has been accused of being the Trojan horse of Russian designs on the European Union, is most unfortunate indeed.

For all of the above reasons Szabolcs Panyi believed that what Orbán said was not what he meant. Panyi came to that conclusion after seeing the video of the speech, where he discovered that Orbán had no written text in front of him and was trying to find an item among his notes. Panyi figured that the prime minister, in addition to talking about Trump’s ideas on terrorism, national security, and immigration, wanted to say more, but he couldn’t find his notes. Thus, his thoughts on Trump were truncated and misunderstood.

Viktor Orbán didn’t leave Panyi in doubt for long. Yesterday during the joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern he made himself crystal clear. Yes, he is supporting Trump wholeheartedly because he convinced that his election is in the interest of Hungary.

Reuters / Photo: László Balogh

Reuters / Photo: László Balogh

Orbán’s endorsement of Trump created quite a stir in the international media, and his comments yesterday were quoted in major newspapers worldwide. In the translation of Reuters, “the Democrats’ foreign policy is bad for Europe, and deadly for Hungary.” On the other hand, “the migration and foreign policy advocated by the Republican candidate, Mr. Trump, is good for Europe and vital for Hungary.” Actually, the original Hungarian, as recorded by Népszabadság, is even stronger: Republican foreign policy is good for Europe “and it means life for Hungary” while the Democrats’ foreign policy ideas “mean death for Hungary.” As far as Orbán is concerned, for Hungary “migration is not a solution but a problem … not medicine but a poison.”

Rumor has it that, over and above policy differences, Orbán holds a grudge against Hillary Clinton for her open criticism of his politics in the summer of 2011 during her visit to Budapest, which was followed by a letter written in December of the same year. As we know by now, Orbán neither forgets nor forgives. In fact, he is vengeful. It is enough to think of the fate of Gábor Iványi, head of the Methodist Brotherhood, or, for that matter, Ferenc Gyurcsány, whom he managed to discredit just because he lost a debate to him. Of course, in the case of the future president of the United States, Orbán is no position to play God, but he can embrace Donald Trump and verbally attack the despised Hillary Clinton.

Bill Clinton is not exactly a favorite either because the former president made a few nasty remarks about politicians who, like the Hungarian prime minister, “said he liked authoritarian capitalism, just saying ‘I don’t ever want to have to leave power’ – usually those guys want to stay forever and make money.” In addition, there is Orbán’s bogeyman, George Soros, who has a good relationship with the Clintons and just gave 25 million dollars to the Clinton campaign. All in all, there is every reason for Viktor Orbán to dislike Hillary Clinton.

There’s no question that Trump and Orbán have a lot in common. For instance, the same kind of crazy talk when it comes to protecting their countries against unwanted migrants. Yesterday, for example, Orbán announced that “Hungary does not need a single migrant” despite the country’s incredible labor shortage, while Trump talks about closing the door of the United States to all Muslims and, of course, building a “big, beautiful” wall along the Mexican border.

The consensus in Fidesz circles is that U.S.-Hungarian relations are already so bad that Orbán doesn’t risk much by endorsing Donald Trump. If Trump loses and Clinton wins, nothing will change. On the other hand, if Trump is the winner, he might remember kindly the only sitting European prime minister who openly and proudly endorsed a man who many of his colleagues deem unfit for and unworthy of the post of president of the United States.

July 27, 2016
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Observer
Guest

Talking about unworthy ones, I wonder if Hungary is so cr…y to have Orban for a leader.
Talking about death, it is the Orban regime emaciating Hungary : sucking the blood of the economy, sapping its progressive/entrepreneurial spiri, chasing the best and the brightest abroad.
Whatever the ravings of this half baked, deeply provincial damaged soul, Hungary won’t die, but its people will suffer more and worse.

Guest

London Calling!

I think it’s just Hungary continuing its historical, national losing streak.

Imagine if they couldn’t wallow in self-pity and melancholy?

Imagine not voting for Viktorlae Orbanescu in 2018?

Losing is an important part of the Hungarian psyche.

They might have to smile and be nice to each other otherwise.

Member

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Member

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Stephen Saletros
Guest
Now I understand the situation here at “Hungarian Spectrum” It is a one woman show directed by a left leaning elitist academic. And typical of left wing elitist academics, if you dont agree with them or their ideology then they must disparage with personal attacks or try to use their superior academic credentials to bully the presumptive less formally educated into silence or acquiescence. How could anyone not agree with them for they are so educated and enlightened? Yes, I ran into professors and TAs at college that were just like that and its a widespread problem in certain academic disciplines in the university system. Of course the relationship and power dynamic is such that the student is in no position to confront, challenge, or refute arguments or positions of the professor even though the professor might be expressing a biased ( liberal, progressive, socialist, globalist) presentation of history or issues. But here we at ” Hungarian Spectrum” are all free to express ourselves in response to the remarks of the professor. So professor , do not take offense at being challenged but when you put forth your opinions do not think that they will go unchallenged! You don’t seem… Read more »
Member

I’d vote to give “Stephen Saletros” the boot. It’s not credentials he/she/it lacks, it’s cerebral cortex. This is not late-night rant radio.

e-2016
Guest

Too bad, to read some crazy opinions.
Saletros is wrong in judging Orban.
Harnad is wrong in judging a frustrated Trump, and the millions who are worried about our security.
Perhaps let us agree that Moscow weaponized the Syrian nation.
Now Orban is just making the powder keg even more exposive.

webber
Guest

Harnad is not wrong about Trump.
Witness Trump’s most recent statements about – and addressed to – Russia. Trump is a threat to American national security.

webber
Guest

Oh, I don’t know. Oddballs like this tend to liven things up a bit. Judging from his fb page, Stephen Saletros is a Faux News consumer, that’s all. Let ’em rant. It’s harmless.

PALIKA
Guest
Stevan, calm down. What kind of a debate is it where you only hear views you agree with? Incidentally you may find what Stephen Salertos wrote both interesting and informative. What is wrong ipso facto with national frontiers and the duty of the state to protect them? Migration is a tricky issue. It is inevitable now as it always has been. The larger the numbers and the greater the ethnic and culture gap the greater the challenge. In the present age the polarisation of the lifestyles and culture of the migrants makes that challenge greater. The Merkel idea of last summer to let them all come on the one extreme is just as foolish as OV’s policy of total exclusion. OV’s endorsement of DT was daft. There are times when you do not have to say anything and often best not to. This was one such occasion. Since OV has no vote and his views impact on no one who has it was a waste of breath except in the context of his domestic audience who also do not have the vote. Unfortunately, as it is increasingly common in the world of politics the leaders lack both education and culture.… Read more »
Observer
Guest

@palika
Theres no space here to list all of Orban’s factual mistakes and nonsense, although his lies are the real thick volume.
Look at the Saletros post. The lack of education, professionalism and culture has become the norm in the Orban rule, the brazen lying a way (coded as “communication”). No wonder, with such character setting the standards.

Guest

Re: discourse like ‘late night rant radio’

My take as well here and ‘there’ at the conventions where opinion is vociferously given like struggling with and driving a gigantic dunyha into an itty bitty two inch hole in the wall.

SS must be in love with certain kind of leader namely those with strong inane and bull in the china shop opinions, an absolute certainty of the truth of those opinions and finally control over all opinion.

What a package of supposed ‘leadership’. We we are looking at the bottom of the barrel there in these shaky times. If leadership is supposed to be transformational it’s amazing how the Vik and Donny variety shows make followers dance to their tune and keep them following no matter how they act or what they say.

What’s that about Donny and the Crimea???? Oh boy.

Member

Please enlighten us further. What else should we read to catch up to the brilliance of Orban and Putin? Can you also expend on what else beside saving our countries from the enemy should we be thankful for? Tell us about their brilliant plan on the economy. List the proof how Orban enriched the land. We have so much to learn, and thank goodness you came to explain it all. Is it Ok for Trump and Orban to love Putin that much? Should Orban also extend the invitation to the Russian spy agencies to dig into private servers? How wonderful that would be! Treason? No, I do not think so. Why would it be if it comes from Trump or Orban?
“Foglalj helyet. Kezdd el a mesét szépen.
Mi hallgatunk és lesz, aki csak éppen
néz téged”
Jozsef Attila, Thomas Mann Udvozlese

Observers
Guest

@Salétros

You may challenge academics, but hardly with such level of knowledge; and leave the myths out:

“Hungarian and European lineage that defeated Ottoman/Islamic onslaughts at Vienna”
– Hungarian king Mathias ATTACKED Vienna and took it in 1485.
– By the 1529 the Ottomans siege of Vienna, the Hungarians had been defeated and János Szapolyai endorsed as a (second) Hungarian king by the sultan, stayed away from the fight. Even Buda was defended by Austrians.
– In the 1683 siege Imre Thököly with his troops was on the Ottoman side.
– Jan III Szobjeiski was a KING not a general.

If you want to defend Hungary from the clear and present danger, you should strike at the Orban mafia which is hurting badly now.

Re your lament about attacks ad hominem, the perfect example is the Orban propaganda machine, e.g. latest turn against their own banker/embezzler Zoltán Spéder.

Observers
Guest

Jan Sobieski

Istvan
Guest

Eva’s side point “And, of course, today Trump egged the Russians on,” I suspect references this story http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/us/politics/donald-trump-russia-clinton-emails.html?_r=0

Basically Trump is inviting the Russians to expose all of Clinton’s emails while Sec of State. A retired Lt Col. and I exchanged emails about this a few minutes ago and he said you know there is such a thing as treason and Trump may have just crossed that line. Nothing more needs to be said.

Member

Not only is it indeed treason (making Watergate look like a kiddie pool) but it is also so cheap, vulgar, mindless and petty that — unless a majority of Americans are really decorticate clones of his — it is unimaginable that Trump is even remotely electable. Surely most Americans are not like most Hungarians. (infinitely worse than the threat from anything Hillary ever leaked: presidential candidates are already eligible for regular CIA briefings!)

Joe Simon
Guest

Orbán likes some of Trump’s foreign policy intiatives.
So do the majority of Americans.
He should though be a bit more reserved when it comes to American elections.
Kossuth tried it during his visit, it backfired on him.

Observer
Guest

@fidesznik joe

Where did this “majority of Americans” came from? Because you said so?

Mr. Tiny Mouse Orban tries to butt into US internal politics. Imagine the screeming fits if the POTUS endorses F. Gyurcsany before the next election. Even Soros has been dragged through the mud by Fidesz media for months now just for upholding Democratic values.

Guest

Yes, like the majority of Hungarians adore Orbán … (as was written here by some person)

And for both we have the same motto:

If you have nothing then you are nothing!

How stupid can people get?

wigo
Guest

Uj Peter (editor in chief of 444.hu) at Nepszabadsag (the Szerda column he has) concluded the same. With the endorsement Orban simply has no downside but only upside. Its a bet. Since currently the election outcome is a toss up, its a very rational bet too. That said, Orban is a Russian agent, its an interesting issue why the NATO and the EU still tolerate him. Orban is also a troll, he enjoys his status. He is elected by Hungarian voters so he just doesnt give a shit about weak foreigners (those who cannot wield power like Putin does), he just loves to cause create tensions and defy expectations.

Observers
Guest

I don’t think the following US administration/State Dept will feel in great debt to Orban for his “endorsement”.

Quire right, Orban is as prickly as they come, but having such a gambler and malicious mischief maker for ruler is a great danger in politics, more so in the case of a small and impoverished country. Hungarian history is a testament to the dangers of screaming abuse without having a stick (to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt).

Guest

No, Orbán doesn’t give a shit about weak Hungarians who work their a**es off to allow him and his mafiosi a luxurious lifestyle while eating zsíros kenyér (straight from my wife …)!

We foreigners laugh at him and enjoy theperks of a country where people are still anxious to serve you – making around a fourth of the money they would get in Western Europe for the same work!

Istvan
Guest

I was sent a link to a TV 2 news show and I watched it several times. It ran yesterday and if my understanding of Hungarian is correct the report stated claimed that Angela Merkel and Theresa May are Illuminati (Illuminátusok), going to secret meetings, with cells in Hungary too apparently. Please tell me I am an idiot American who is functionally illiterate in Hungarian and that I radically misunderstood what I watched.

Guest

In right wing lunatics sites like “breitfart” you also often read about the Bilderberg group – this might be the one addressed:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group
There are many “constipation theories” (my invention) about them – this year they met in the East German city of Dresden, that of course was more food for the lunatics!

1956
Guest

Wolf, not so fast with a judgement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breitbart_News
Breitbart may counter many disinformation sources.
It is useful to be familiar with the Breitbart investigations.

webber
Guest

Get a grip. Breitbart disseminates insane conspiracy theories.

Guest

Just look at snopes.com who have debunked so many breitfart stories …

Breitfart are almost the equivalent of kuruc.info.

And the comments there are so atrocious, it’s unbelievable!

Nazis are almost human compared to them!

1956
Guest

Again, clear up the misunderstanding. Breitbart and Bilderbergs are two different things.

See this report: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/07/28/muslim-parents-fallen-soldier-endorse-upstage-hillary/

Breitbart is a hard hitting site, and close to the truth in reporting.

webber
Guest

“close to the truth”….
That’s reporting?

Guest

Of course breitfart reports conspiracy theories like the Bilderbergs – you got it wrong.
Anyone who quotes breitfart as a “source” disqualifies himself immediately!
Btw you are either very uninformed and/or a right wing troll – or should I say Nazi?

webber
Guest

Wolfi – OT, but somehow more closely related to the topic of this blog: Orban’s channel, TV2 has suggested that Angela Merkel is one of the “Illuminati” and part of the “secret government that controls the world” because of the way she holds her hands.
Talk about insanity on t.v.! And this is Orban’s favorite channel.
Story, in Hungarian, here, with a link to the show in which the claims were made – http://index.hu/mindekozben/poszt/2016/07/27/a_tv2_fomusoridoben_leplezte_le_az_illuminatus_angela_merkelt_a_kancellart_piramisalaku_keztartasa_buktatta_le/

Guest

I’ve heard similar stories before – on the other hand I’ve read somewhere that Mrs Merkel is of Jewish Polish origin and …

These right wing people are so crazy – a US friend of mine wrote a few days ago about them:

Breitbart.com is just one more drop in the stinking sewer of paranoid, ignorant, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, pro-authoritarian, pro-totalitarian, neo-Nazi, white nationalist, conspiracy-theory-obsessed (did I miss anything?) mind set. It’s a disgrace what Fox News and its media compatriots have done to civil discourse in this country in the space of a quarter-century. Appalling and incredibly sad. Come on, America, we can do better than this.

Guest

Our young ones just told me that yesterday (or the day before ?) RTL made fun of TV2 and the illuminati story – after the news, the weather forecast etc every announcer said good bye using that “illuminati sign” – holding your hands in a special way.

It’s really unbelievable how low TV2 has sunk under Vajna’s command – as bad or even worse as Faux news in the USA!

Meierhof
Guest
OT, HVG has a poll conducted by Median according to which 2/3s of the voters think that the government is corrupt. Actually I think that this is a devastating news, devastating for the opposition. It means that in 2016 33% still think that the government is NOT corrupt and there is no way that these people can be opposition leaning voters. Moreover, there are many Fidesz voters who openly admit that the government is corrupt (but the communists did it too, so it is their turn now or it is a better corruption because righteous Hungarians receive the money not jews who sell Hungary out to foreigners etc.). In addition there are people who may not be decided now, agree that the corruption is there, but just think that even with the corruption Fidesz is doing a better job addressing issues like terrorism, immigration, pride, nation and so will vote for Fidesz after all. In other words, Fidesz must still have at least 40 to 45% popularity among voters. In an election system that is practically a first past the post system with a divided opposition, this is an advantage that is all but insurmountable (not to mention disadvantages in… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

Mid-year update, debt vs reserves in billions of euros.

+ International reserves of the Hungarian National Bank (as reported by MNB)
– non-forint debt of the central government (as reported by AKK)
= difference;
– forint debt of the central government (as reported by AKK)

2015-06-30:
34.8 – 29.4 = 5.4; – 77.4

2016-06-30:
24.8 – 23.8= 1.0; – 77.8

tappanch
Guest

Correction !! (there is also an error in the AKK series)

2015-06-30:
34.8 – 29.9 = 4.9; – 49.7

2016-06-30:
24.8 – 23.8= 1.0; – 56.2

Guest

London Calling!

There must be a psychological condition shared by Trump and Orban?

I haven’t a clue what it’s called!

Just as Hungarians see Viktorlae Orbanescu as a hero figure – which is unequivocally true in the rural regions – and are ‘blind’ to the many negative aspects of his dictatorship:

then many Republican Americans see Trump as a hero figure too – blind to the many negative aspects of his limited intellect and attention span of a gnat.

Hungary is just a smudge on the political scene – harmless in its insignificance. Pathetic even when Orban thinks he can, for example, influence the Brexit vote – and now the American elections. Safely insignificant – even with a self-inflicted ignorant electorate.

Unfortunately Trump is a dangerous proposition – in league with the loony tea party he is very dangerously significant. With a dangerously loony ignorant following.

Dangerous times ahead possibly.

And the psychological condition?

Dysfunctional lunacy – where the usual synapses of the brain are obstructed with megalomaniacal impulses and narcissistic currents which have ‘lobotomised’ that part of the brain responsible for ‘consequences’.

DyLuMINCLoC Syndrome.

Trump and Orban.

Guest

© charliecharlieh

Guest

Re: ‘Dangerous times ahead possibly’

The jury is out yet on actual Trumpian diplomacy but in a way we’ve got a whiff of it. If foreign policy speaks with one voice out of him we indubitably will be staring at dangerous times. I’d think in the case of Putin and his potential actions if you give an inch he will take a yard.

1956
Guest

The whole world, including Hungary and USA are equally suffering from the acts of Moscow.
The USA diplomacy could not defeat the Moscow plots.
Africa and Asia have suffered astronomical human casualties.
Even Russia is a victim of these self-inflicted plots.
Hillary Clinton, Obama, Carter and and almost all US administrations have not found the right defense in the past 40 years.
Let us see if Trump is better.

Istvan
Guest

Well 1956, I know that for sure I am not going to my vote to Trump in the hope he might make a grand deal with Putin. Any Central European American who votes for Trump must believe that putting our ancestral countries back under the social and economic control of Russia is not so bad elsewise they could never risk such a vote given what Mr. Trump has said this week.

Guest

You are mad, 1956

“Let us see if Trump is better.”

Just like the people who voted Brexit for the sheer hell of it.

They themselves are suffering now – their state pensions will suffer, their welfare benefits will suffer – their children will suffer and investment in their communities is suffering.

Just to send a message? Just to try it out?

So many have phoned in to talk radio stations to say that they regret it now and say sorry!

I’ve heard at least three ‘apologies’.

The well off older folks have taken a hit – but they are in a position to take it.

It’s the young’s future that will suffer – as they struggle to pay the pensions of their elders.

Already they are earning less in the last decade than their parents ever did.

My stupid elder brother voted for Brexit – with a son who did a Mickey Mouse university degree ‘football-management’!

Just to try it out.

His son has never done a proper day’s work in his life – just interminable ‘internships’ with an ever diminishing promise of a ‘real’ job “next year”.

Yea. Try it out at your peril.

Brainless.

PALIKA
Guest

You are absolutely right.
The fools who voted for out will live to regret it. I am concerned about the rest of us who have been happy swimming with the tide and enjoying the benefits of EU membership.
Cameron’s alleged reason for calling a referendum was that it would end the Europe row in the Party that has destroyed two previous Tory PMs, Thatcher and Major. I bet we will not have to wait long before the knives are out again with TM as the next casualty, making her number 4.

leda
Guest

Re Trump. Glenn Greenwald has an interview on slate.com. I know Greenwald is considered controversial etc. by the mainstream but he has extremely important points about the dissatisfaction of voters. People do not really care that Trump is working for Russia etc., they want to express their rage and frustration and there is no other way to d it than via Trump (or Brexit). They (the white working, middle classes) may even lose out with Trump, but their life sucks so badly that they want the life of the elite to suck too.

“The reason they resonated is that people have been so fucked by the prevailing order in such deep and fundamental and enduring ways that they can’t imagine that anything is worse than preservation of the status quo. You have this huge portion of the populace in both the U.K. and the US that is so angry and so helpless that they view exploding things without any idea of what the resulting debris is going to be to be preferable to having things continue, and the people they view as having done this to them to continue in power.”

Guest

But Trump himself has ben one of those in power, responsible for several bankrupcies and a lot of misery for countless people – so this is forgiven for him but not the ohers?

Strange …

But imho (a large number of …) Americans are really strange, Creationists, weapon fans, wary of a universalsocial security system, enjoying violence, cheap unhealthy food, following all kinds of crazy theories …

webber
Guest

Some Americans, Wolfi, only some.

“Cheap unhealthy food” That part of your comment was insensitive- unusual for you. If you are poor, that is what you have to eat. It’s not a choice. It’s all you have money for. The same goes for the poor in the UK, incidentally. Some years ago reality show had a (former) Conservative MP live in the shoes of a single mother. He had to feed her kids, work at her job, and pay her bills out of her budget. The first day, he spent more on food than she could afford for a week, and slowly he realized that the only way to make ends meet was to buy the cheap unhealthy stuff.

Guest

Webber, even on a small budget you can cook healthy or at least healthier than what you get at McD etc – my wife did it for many years before she met me and she still prefers to cook potatoes instead of making fries, uses lean chicken meat which is not more expensive than pork etc …

In my eyes it’s also a question of education …

webber
Guest

Wolfi – Unfortunately, in the US and England, that is not true.
You cannot cook a full meal in the US for $1. You can get a full meal at some fast food joints for that price.

I know, from personal experience, that what you say is true of Continental Europe, and I know from personal experience that it is not true in the US or the UK.

Guest

We’re getting rather OT, but I still can’t believe what you’ve written – if it were true then something would be really wrong with shopping/businesses in the food sector there …

tappanch
Guest

A new, critical book on Trump from his biographer in the 1990s, full of personal anecdotes:

“Trump and Me by Mark Singer”

112 pages

tappanch
Guest

“how the gods could have permitted Trump’s resurrection is to mistake profound superficiality for profundity”

tappanch
Guest

“Was it true, Gordon asked, that Tsereteli and Trump had discussed erecting on the Hudson River a statue of Christopher Columbus that was six feet taller than the Statue of Liberty?
“Yes, it’s already been made, from what I understand,” said Trump, who had met Tsereteli a couple of months earlier, in Moscow. “It’s got forty million dollars’ worth of bronze in it, and Zurab would like it to be at my West Side Yards development”—a seventy-five-acre tract called Riverside South—“and we are working toward that end.”
According to Trump, the head had arrived in America, the rest of the body was still in Moscow, and the whole thing was being donated by the Russian government”

tappanch
Guest

“Alair Townsend, a former deputy mayor in the Koch administration, once quipped, “I wouldn’t believe Donald Trump if his tongue were notarized.””

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