On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump praised authoritarian leader Viktor Orban and condemned US democracy in the same breath in an interview with Fox News. The President commented that Hungarian Prime Minister Orban, who has been in power since 2010, has “done a tremendous job in so many different ways.” This public admiration for an autocratic leader appears to be a stark contrast from his attacks on US domestic politics. Trump went on to quote Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent criticism of US democracy, in which Putin accused the US of focusing too heavily on protecting civil rights rather than focusing on the economy or public safety. Trump then agreed with Putin that the US has “had plenty of challenges,” calling it a “shame” and expressing that the US lags “so far behind” internationally. This is an especially curious comment given Trump’s upcoming 2020 election campaign and his repeated condemnation of the Mueller report and the Democratic House. The President’s intention behind quoting Putin and then echoing his words remains unclear. International leaders from around the world have reacted with surprise and confusion to the comments. During a joint press conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “To hear an American president parroting Putin’s critique of our own democracy and praising Orban is startling,” while French President Emmanuel Macron called it a “disgrace.” These comments have added to growing international unease regarding US foreign policy under Trump. From a nuclear deal with North Korea to a border wall with Mexico and now this public praise for authoritarian leaders, Trump’s presidency seems to have no straightforward strategy. Questions surrounding Trump’s comments on US democracy and Orban remain unanswered.