The recent rebuke issued by President Trump’s State Department shows that the influence of George Soros extends even into the highest ranks of the Republican Party.
Despite Trump’s campaign promises to put America first and stop meddling in other countries’ affairs, and Sen. John McCain’s fears of what a Trump presidency would do to the American world order, the current administration seems willing to go to bat for the Hungarian-born Soros against Hungary’s conservative government – all in the name of NATO.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orbán and his Fidesz Party have recently been pushing through a law that would force NGOs receiving more than roughly $26,000 from foreign sources to register with the government as foreign entities. The bill is meant to protect the country from the tentacles of Soros, who lavishly funds left-wing organizations such as the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee with the goal of undermining Hungary’s borders. Only one university in the small country of 9.8 million would be affected by the law: Soros’ Central European University which CRC has previously covered. Orbán castigates the university as a center of political dissent and claims it has abandoned its academic mission. Orbán recently described the Soros network as a “mafia-style operation” with “agent-like organizations.” Hungary is one of two countries in Europe that has not caved to the pressure to allow waves of Middle Eastern migrants across its borders; its reward has been threats of reprisal from the European Union.
Orbán praised Trump’s “America First” rhetoric, promise to build a wall on the Mexican-U.S. border, and desire to guard U.S. borders, and likewise celebrated the President’s election.
Nevertheless, on Monday Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, attacked the Hungarian law and urged the country to scrap it, claiming “if signed into law, this would be another step away from Hungary’s commitments to uphold the principles and values that are central to the [European Union] and NATO.” Hungary responded that the U.S. is being “misled” by international media “strongly assisted by Soros organizations” and that the U.S. is applying double standards because the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 has long applied to political lobbyists for foreign governments. The State Department responded that this comparison is untrue because the Act does not cover nonprofits.
The broader question should be whether the U.S. State Department has any business trying to involve itself in the internal affairs of a small, landlocked nation already being bullied by the massive European Union in the interests of Soros-backed NGOs.