President Trump met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House Monday afternoon; prompting a fierce backlash from CNN that labeled the European politician a "far-right leader" who was "iced out" by Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
"We must state that we do not want to be diverse", he said in a 2018 speech.
"I know he's a tough man, but he's a respected man, and he's done the right thing, according to many people, on immigration", Trump added.
Trump praised Hungary's action on curbing migration, saying Orban had "kept Hungary safe".
Trump had already attracted significant criticism - including from Republicans in Congress - for his decision to meet with Orban.
Orban has overseen the re-writing of Hungary's constitution to strengthen his control over parliament and an extensive re-design of the country's electoral map to favour his conservative Fidesz party.
"Under such conditions, the United States should be isolating the Hungarian prime minister, not embracing him", he wrote on Monday.
"We are proud of Europe's Greek, Roman, Jewish and Christian heritage and also proud of the contributions Hungarians have made over the past one thousand years to that culture", Orban said.
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He has also advocated restricting immigration to ensure Hungary remains a racially and culturally homogenous society.
Orban said he had not been in the USA for 20 years.
"We don't see these people as Muslim refugees". They say the visit is important as Trump seeks to pull Hungary back from recent alignments with Russian Federation, reward members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that increase their commitments to defense, limit China's global reach through 5G networks and sell US weapons overseas. Multiculturalism, he said, "is only an illusion".
As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner. "Hungarians can not become an ethnic or cultural minority in their own cities, because whenever they feel their cultural identity being challenged, and alarm sets off". In the same interview, he said: "Of course it's not accepted, but the factual point is that all the terrorists are basically migrants".
But there is an irony in Orban's stance against immigration, as he closes borders and calls for an "anti-immigration axis" with other populists in Europe. In an interview with Spanish TV channel Intereconomia in 2015, Orban raised fears about integrating Muslim migrants in the European Union when he said: "What sort of Europe do we want to have?"
"You have been great with respect to Christian communities", Trump said. But it is not only the Democrats, Trump's opponents, who are hostile to Orban.
Many Republicans have an extremely critical view of Hungary's anti-democratic transformation since 2010, under Orban. "Under Orban, the election process has become less competitive and the judiciary is increasingly controlled by the state".
In a letter ahead of the visit, several Democratic lawmakers said Trump should postpone their meeting until Orban "returns his country to the path of democracy and respect for human rights".