U.S. journalists have been denied entry to the Conservative Political Action Conference currently being hosted in Hungary.
Reporters from Vice, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, The Associated Press, and others were reportedly barred from the Republican event, which is being held in Europe for the first time, Vice News reported.
Matt Schlapp, CPAC’s organizer, didn’t explain the ban. He chose to host the event in Hungary’s capital of Budapest, where American right-wingers have cozied up to the country’s authoritarian prime minister Viktor Orban.
Orban, among other autocrats, has been praised by former President Donald Trump for his anti-democratic, anti-immigration and anti-free speech stances.
“He 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 wrote in a statement before Orban’s reelection earlier this year. “He is a strong leader and respected by all. He has my Complete support and Endorsement for reelection as Prime Minister!”
During a livestreamed speech at CPAC, Orban attacked the U.S. media and outlined a plan for conservatives to fight “progressive dominance,” Vice News reported.
“My dear friends, have your media,” Orban said. “You can only present the stupidity of the leftist progressives if you have the media to do it. Leftist opinion can only seem to be a majority because the media helps them to increase their voice.”