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'Unifier' Biden Burning Bridge of U.S.-Hungarian Relations

senator from the free state on the east coast of the united states

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., speaks to reporters following a closed-door lunch meeting with U.S. Senate Democrats at the U.S. Capitol: Oct. 24, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Bryan E. Leib By Tuesday, 06 February 2024 10:26 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

I am back in Budapest, Hungary for the week to visit with the Center for Fundamental Rights in my capacity as senior fellow.

I'm here to raise awareness about CPAC Hungary 2024 and to build bridges, or I should say: re-build bridges between the Hungarians and Americans.

Approximately 24 hours prior to flying out to Budapest, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who is chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a scathing statement, one highly critical of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, as well as Orban's entire government.

The statement from Sen. Cardin reads, "I was privileged to host U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, David Pressman, yesterday in my office in Washington.

"Ambassador Pressman clearly understands and represents American interests and values in Budapest, including our enduring commitment to democracy, rule of law, and equal rights."

Allow me, with clarity, to share with you also what I’m hearing on the ground in Hungary.

In part, that Ambassador Pressman represents his own personal interests, and not those of the United States government — in my opinion.

A retired ambassador once explained to me, that when an ambassador is successful in their role, you never hear or see their name in the press.

Why? Because they are diplomats, not politicians.

Diplomats work behind the scenes, not out in front like politicians do.

Since Ambassador Pressman arrived to his post in Hungary, he has publicly and privately condemned the Hungarian government on what feels like a monthly basis.

He has utilized the U.S. State Department to additionally issue statements condemning Hungary. Such activities would seem to counter the notion that the U.S. is interested in fostering strong ties with Hungary.

Sen. Cardin goes on in his statement to basically threaten the Hungarian people and their ability to take part in the Visa Waiver Program saying, "I have deep concerns over the direction of the current Hungarian government, whose officials have repeatedly attacked President Biden and Ambassador Pressman in ways that should be unthinkable for an American ally.

"The Biden Administration should be examining whether Hungary truly is a trusted partner deserving of participating in the Visa Waiver Program – and given the level of corruption, whether it is appropriate to initiate sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act."

These threats from Sen. Cardin — which we all know emanate from the Biden White House — to exclude the Hungarian people from the Visa Waiver Program are approaching a red line in U.S.-Hungarian relations.

Hungarians love Americans.

We have so much in common.

A commonality ranging from our belief in Judeo-Christian values, supporting family, enforcing our borders, and ending woke ideologies tearing American society apart.

So why does Sen. Cardin want to penalize the Hungarian people?

Is this how he and the Biden Administration think they will foster strong ties between Budapest and Washington D.C.?

The Hungarian Conservative recently published an editorial which contends in part, "David Pressman is a man with a mission. And not in the sense that he is the chief of the U.S. mission in Hungary.

"No, his mission seems to be rather personal, or rather, that of a Democrat activist."

On this point they are more than correct.

From my vantage point, Pressman is on a personal mission to destroy U.S.-Hungarian relations. The ambassador didn’t do himself any favors when he accused the Hungarian government of being antisemitic.

There is no place outside of Israel where a Jew is more than safe, than in Hungary.

Pressman knows this yet he continues to launch these baseless attacks on the Hungarian people. Again, a diplomat’s role is to build bridges behind the scenes not to publicly attack the government of which he/she is stationed in.

I am a legitimately concerned American who knows first-hand that Hungary is a trusted and valuable partner for the United States

I am also rightfully concerned regarding the direction of U.S.-Hungarian relations under Ambassador Pressman.

I'm excited to be in Budapest this week, promoting CPAC Hungary 2024.

This even will globally showcase that Hungary is a small yet powerful nation.

One ready, willing, and able to be a world leader.

To make U.S.-Hungarian relations great again, and we will, we must first re-establish respect for the Hungarian people and their culture.

Ambassador Pressman and his colleagues in the State Department must immediately cease all their "political" activities and focus on building bridges between Americans and Hungarians, not burning them down at every opportunity.

Bryan E. Leib is the CEO of Henry Public Relations, a Senior Fellow with the Center for Fundamental Rights and the former Executive Director of the Iranian Americans for Liberty, and in 2018, he was the GOP Endorsed Congressional Candidate (PA-03). He tweets at @BryanLeibFL. Read More Bryan E. Leib Reports — Here.

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A retired ambassador explained to me, that when an ambassador is successful in their role, you never hear or see their name in the press.
cardin, orban, pressman
Tuesday, 06 February 2024 10:26 AM
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