United State ; Ambassador ; Listening session ; Hungary;
Hungary is an ally and partner, but what is happening is a “great concern”.
We have to deal with the problem of Russian influence over the Hungarian government. To do this, we need to publicly express our concerns, David Pressman, the US ambassador to Hungary, said at a hearing before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.
The White House announced two months ago that it would nominate a 45-year-old diplomat as US ambassador to Budapest, and has now received several questions about the anti-democratic measures taken by Orbán’s government. One of the questions he received from Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey, David Pressman, said Hungary was an ally and partner, but what was happening was a “great concern.”
He also argues that the euphemism is a common term in the United States for democratic backsliding because it indicates that someone wants to get to the top of Olympus only by slipping down behind their mistake. Compared to this, it is in fact a deliberate decision to restrict freedom of the press and independence of the judiciary, and to take action against vulnerable groups in society. He has promised to voice his concerns before the highest levels of the Hungarian government, but he will also reach out to the “rich” civic sphere to ensure that NGOs have as much US support as possible in the limited space that has been squeezed.
At a hearing with relatively little interest, David Pressman also received a question from New York Democratic Senator Cory Booker about how he acted to protect the LGBTQ community. In his question, the senator openly called Urban’s anti-gay government, and
David Pressman replied that it could not be emphasized enough how important these issues were, and that the anti-gay, anti-Semitic, and Roma rhetoric in Hungary aimed to exclude the social groups involved from democratic processes. He considers this rhetoric corrosive and dangerous, and requires an immediate, unanimous response. He reiterated that he would raise the issue with government departments and would also work with NGOs.
Unlike his predecessors in Budapest, such as Colin Bell and David Kornstein, David Pressman is a heavyweight diplomat. A 45-year-old lawyer who graduated from New York University, he is currently a partner at the law firm Jenner & Block, which has many ties to the Democratic Party but also close ties to Hollywood celebrities, including founding CEOs of the George and Amal Clooney Foundation. He worked alongside the late Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as a Human Rights Adviser and then represented the United States at the United Nations at the Special Political Ambassador level under Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017. He also later served as an attorney for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was fired for confronting Donald Trump As Director of the National Security Council for Europe. David Pressman is an advocate for a number of human rights causes, including the LGBTQ community.