David Cornstein has served as US Ambassador to Budapest since summer 2018. He’s been working on repairing the US–Hungary relations that went sour in 2014.
His most important accomplishment to date has been to facilitating the Trump–Orban meeting which took place on Monday. He personally sat in on the second half of that meeting.
Shortly after returning to Budapest, Cornstein spoke to 444 about what happened at the White House.
Some sources said of yesterday’s meeting that it was a little bit longer than planned. Is that true? If so, can you explain why the meeting lasted longer?
I think it was a little longer. There were two meetings. The first meeting was in the Oval Office with the President and the Prime Minister. Also, not in the picture but in the room were John Bolton and Peter Szijjarto. The rest of us were not in the room. We were waiting in the Cabinet room.
That meeting, when you’re waiting in a room to go in, it seems like it’s a little longer than it actually is. But I would say it was probably about a 15 minute meeting, give or take a little.
The next meeting, which I attended, I can tell you was a good 45 minutes. So it probably ran 10-15 minutes longer than was scheduled. And that was not planned. To be very frank with you, it’s the style of the President of the United States. He loves meeting people and is very inquisitive and had a lot of questions, so it ran a little longer.
Ever since President Trump’s inauguration, people were wondering when he would invite Viktor Orban to the White House because he was the first European leader to endorse then-candidate Trump. Why is it that the meeting took place now?
I arrived here at beginning of July, and during July and August, as you know, it isn’t easy to find government officials. So it was in September that I first started to meet the government leaders. Prior to my arrival, American leadership did not pay any attention to this government. That was the Obama approach. But President Trump’s attitude is this is a NATO ally and a friend, and we have a big history together and we should have a relationship with this country.
So as I started to make the rounds. The first thing I wanted to do was show that America had changed its mind and its heart toward Hungary. A lot of people, important people from the United States, started coming over to visit Hungary, the last being Secretary Pompeo, and a lot of Cabinet people before that.
So we showed that we have changed how we are going to treat this wonderful country that I’ve learned to love so much.
We hoped, in return, that we could see some gestures from Hungary toward the United States. There have been some very positive events that have taken …read more
Source:: 444.hu – Aktuális