Gay Trump official Richard Grenell under fire over ties to Hungary’s far-right, homophobic government
Gay Trump official Richard Grenell has financial links to Hungary’s far-right, anti-LGBT+ government.
The Trump-supporting official, who was named as Trump’s acting director of national intelligence last week, is facing questions over undeclared work carried out by his PR firm, Capitol Media Partners.
The Washington Post reports that Grenell failed to register as a foreign agent in 2016 while advising the Magyar Foundation, which is “almost entirely” funded by Viktor Orban’s far-right government.
According to tax records, Grenell paid himself $668,362 for his PR work in the two years to 2018, when he was named Trump’s ambassador to Germany. His work for the Hungary-linked group was not disclosed on a list of clients on a public financial disclosure form for his appointment.
The newspaper adds there is “no indication” that the justice department is investigating Grenell over the apparent breach of the foreign agents registration act, which requires those who advocate on behalf of foreign powers to publicly disclose their work.
Grenell denies he “received any form of compensation from a foreign government”.
Hungarian government has an extreme homophobic stance.
Orbán is considered one of the foremost racist, anti-semitic and homophobic world leaders.
Hungarian activists say that Orbán and his far-right Fidesz party have created a culture of persecution of LGBT+ people in the country – warning that the government is complicit in anti-LGBT+ crackdowns.
In 2012, Orbán created a new Hungarian constitution which bans gay marriage and does not explicitly protect gay people from discrimination. In 2016, he also blocked a Europe-wide agreement on LGBT+ rights.
In October, Coca-Cola was issued a fine by regulators in Hungary over an ad campaign featuring same-sex couples – with Fidesz MPs and the party’s aligned media outlets jumping on the issue to spread anti-LGBT rhetoric.
Richard Grenell vowed to ’empower’ conservatives around the world.
After taking up the role of ambassador to Germany in 2018, Grenell faced protests from Germany’s centre-right government for saying he would work to “empower conservatives throughout Europe” on immigration.
He had told Breitbart: “Many migrants have been allowed to come in, that was the policy of chancellor Merkel.
“There are a lot of conservatives throughout Europe who have contacted me to say they are feeling there is a resurgence going on.
“I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders. I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left.
“There’s no question about that and it’s an exciting time for me. I look across the landscape and we’ve got a lot of work to do but I think the election of Donald Trump has empowered individuals and people to say that they can’t just allow the political class to determine before an election takes place, who’s going to win and who should run.”