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EU leader declares support for Trump

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban urged the embattled ex-president to “keep on fighting” as he prepares to face trial in New York

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban took to Twitter on Monday to show his support for former US President Donald Trump, who will appear in court in New York on Tuesday. “We are with you,” the conservative PM told his political ally.

Trump departed his residence in Florida on Monday, bound for the city in which he built his fortune, New York. He is expected to turn himself in on Tuesday to face criminal charges relating to his alleged payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels. 

Crowds of supporters cheered the ex-president’s motorcade as it traveled to Palm Beach International Airport. Meanwhile, the Hungarian PM wished his former American counterpart well online.

“Keep on fighting, Mr. President!” Orban tweeted, posting a picture of the two meeting at Trump’s New Jersey golf club last year. “We are with you, Donald Trump.”

Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury last week and is facing 34 criminal charges, Yahoo News reported on Tuesday. The charges were “bumped up” from misdemeanors to felonies by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the report claimed.

Bragg’s office argues that Trump falsified records of several payments to Daniels, recording them as legal expenses. Trump’s 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, paid a fine last year for the same offense over her campaign’s financing of the so-called ‘Steele Dossier’ – a dubiously-sourced piece of opposition research that formed the basis for the FBI’s Russiagate investigation.

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Trump’s dealings with Daniels were under investigation by local and federal prosecutors for several years. However, the Justice Department opted not to prosecute Trump in 2018, and Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance, let the case slide during his tenure as Manhattan’s DA.

Trump has accused Bragg of “political persecution,” and described the charges as an attempt to hinder his 2024 campaign. Nearly half of all Americans believe that the charges are justified, according to an ABC News poll. However, roughly the same number believe that the case against the former president is politically motivated.

Orban is the only EU leader to offer Trump a gesture of support amid his legal struggle. The Hungarian prime minister was the first foreign leader to endorse Trump’s 2016 campaign, and cultivated a close relationship with Trump during the former president’s tenure in the White House. Orban has also spoken several times at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in the US, and hosted a Hungarian offshoot of the conference in Budapest last year.

April 04, 2023 at 09:00PM

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