Trump Praised Hungarian PM Who Slammed Zelensky as Being 'Like Me'

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who was once praised by former President Donald Trump as being "like me," called Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky an "opponent" after his reelection victory on Sunday.

The conservative leader, who has received the support of some in the Republican Party, but has also faced allegations of being an autocrat, won reelection Sunday with about 53 percent of the vote. However, he has faced scrutiny from many in the international community for his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin amid its invasion of Ukraine.

"We never had so many opponents," Orbán said during his victory speech, according to the BBC. "Brussels bureaucrats...the international mainstream media and the Ukrainian president."

The prime minister has received the support of Trump, who endorsed him for reelection in January. The former president praised him as a leader who "has done a powerful and wonderful job in protecting Hungary, stopping illegal immigration, creating jobs, trade, and should be allowed to continue to do so in the upcoming Election."

Trump also praised Orbán as being "like me" in remarks he made in 2019, Reuters reported at the time.

"Highly respected. Respected all over Europe," he said. "Probably, like me, a little bit controversial, but that's okay. That's okay. You've done a good job and you've kept your country safe."

Orbán has long been a controversial figure. Conservatives have praised his leadership, while others have raised concerns about his hardline stances on topics including LGBTQ rights and immigration. His right-wing Fidesz party has supported legislation aimed at banning LGBTQ content for children.

In recent weeks, amid Russia's widely-condemned invasion of Ukraine, Orbán, who is an ally of Putin, began facing heightened criticism over his response to it.

The prime minister has condemned the invasion, but also attempted to stay out of the war and declined to stop importing Russian gas and oil—a sanction imposed by other countries intended to put economic pressure on Putin to end the conflict, according to Reuters.

Following his victory, Putin sent a "congratulatory telegram" to the reelected prime minister, according to Russia's foreign ministry.

In late March, Zelensky called out Orbán during a speech to European leaders, saying: "I want to stop here and be honest. Once and for all. You have to decide for yourself who you are with."

He also called on Orbán to be more proactive on sanctions. However, Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó said: "For us, the security of Hungary and the Hungarian people are what is most important. We are doing everything to ensure that Hungary stays out of the war."

Newsweek reached out to the offices of former President Trump and Prime Minister Orbán for comment Monday morning. This story will be updated with any response.

Trump-endorsed Orban calls Zelensky an "opponent"
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, above in Budapest on Sunday, labeled Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky an “opponent” after his reelection victory. Donald Trump once praised Orbán as being “like me.” ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images