At CPAC Hungary this week, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Rep. Barry Moore of Alabama will speak alongside a global collection of radical-right figures, including the leader of an Austrian political party founded by Nazi SS officers.
CPAC Hungary, an offshoot of the U.S.-based Conservative Political Action Conference, puts that country’s autocratic Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a global spotlight for a second consecutive year, surrounding him with like-minded figures from across the world. Orbán is an authoritarian leader whom Tucker Carlson regularly lauded on his show before Fox News canceled it last month. In addition to Orbán’s history of corruption and hostility to press freedom, he has given voice to the great replacement conspiracy theory espoused by radical-right extremists.
The Austrian political party founded by Nazi SS officers, Austrian Freedom Party, or FPÖ, will send to CPAC Hungary their chairman, Herbert Kickl, along with European Parliament member Harald Vilimsky. These men will join other radical-right figures, including former Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, who has a reputation for embracing conspiracy theories, Japanese politician and cult member Hiroaki “Jay” Aeba, and American political operative Jack Posobiec, who is known for his ties to the white supremacist movement and his history of promoting Russian intelligence-backed social media campaigns.
Hatewatch attempted to reach Gosar but could not get in contact with him. Hatewatch emailed Moore’s office but did not receive a response.
Gosar, who pushed the “Stop the Steal” lie that preceded the pro-Trump attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, is no stranger to appearing alongside extremists. He has previously stood with white nationalist and antisemite Nick Fuentes at his AFPAC conference.
Moore has a lower profile than Gosar but is also familiar with controversy. The Alabama congressman temporarily deleted his Twitter account in January 2021 after publishing tweets that promoted former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election and appeared to apologize for those who attacked the Capitol in its aftermath. He filed a bill in February to make the AR-15 the “National Gun of America.”
An illiberal coalition
Gosar, Moore and Posobiec will link up with other American reactionaries at the pro-Orbán event. Matt Schlapp, the CPAC leader who has denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a male staffer, will attend. CPAC Hungary also lists election denier Kari Lake, who lost the race for Arizona’s governor in 2022, as a speaker. Michael Anton, a former Trump adviser, will be there too, according to a post on CPAC Hungary’s website. Mark Meadows, Trump’s embattled former chief of staff, will appear before the CPAC Hungary crowd via video conference.
Indiana’s new Secretary of State Diego Morales, who has faced criticism in that state for hiring his brother-in-law to a six-figure job, will speak in person. So will Rick Santorum, the anti-LGBTQ+ former senator who lost his job with CNN in 2021 after making comments appearing to dismiss the cultural impact of Native Americans. Other, lesser-known Americans are also slated to speak.
In addition to members of the Nazi-founded FPÖ, members of far-right groups known for their anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ+ stances will be at CPAC Hungary. Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, is speaking. Members of such hardline groups as France’s National Rally (formerly National Front), Portugal’s neofascist Chega party, and Im Tirtzu, a Zionist group who paints human rights activists as traitors to Israel, will also speak.
Newsweek again associates with anti-democracy movement
Josh Hammer of Newsweek will also speak at CPAC Hungary, marking another time when that publication’s opinion editor has publicly rubbed shoulders with European radical-right figures. Hammer previously attended the New York Young Republican Club (NYYRC) gala in December 2022 alongside members of FPÖ, Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD), American white nationalists and Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Hammer has courted radical right, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-immigrant and anti-democracy voices while serving as Newsweek’s opinion editor, as Hatewatch previously reported. He has also traveled to Hungary to speak to a state-sponsored group. In February 2022, Newsweek published a glowing dispatch Hammer authored about Hungary without disclosing that connection to Orbán’s government. In addition to Orbán, other extremists who are slated to attend CPAC Hungary promote views hostile to press freedom, and they are listed on a roster next to Newsweek’s name.
In a previous comment to Hatewatch, Newsweek claimed that Hammer “does not share nor endorse the views of those published in the opinion section of Newsweek, nor those who participate in events he attends.” Hatewatch reached out again about Hammer’s scheduled appearance at CPAC Hungary, but the magazine did not respond.
Hammer is joined by contributors to the opinion section he runs, including the extremist Posobiec and Trump loyalist Gavin Wax, the president of NYYRC. Wax staged a protest last month, featuring Posobiec, outside the Manhattan courthouse where the former president pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. While speaking at NYYRC’s gala in December, Wax called for “total war” against his perceived domestic enemies.
Banner image: Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican from Arizona, listens during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, on Feb. 27, 2021. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images)