Trump exchanges a close hug with Argentine President Javier Milei at conservative summit

OXON HILL, Md. — Javier Milei, Argentina’s fiery right-wing populist president, gave Donald Trump an ecstatic hug on Saturday a day after meeting with Biden administration officials in Buenos Aires.

Trump and Milei were the main speakers at the end of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington. During their backstage greeting, captured in a video posted by a Trump campaign official, Milei shouted “President!” and pulled Trump in for a big hug before they had their picture taken together.

Milei took office in December after running a Trump-inspired campaign, complete with red “Make Argentina Great Again” hats, in a nod to the former president’s own “Make America Great Again” movement. He was the latest of a number of foreign politicians at CPAC to repeat popular Trump themes on issues like migration and the perceived threat of socialism.

In the video, Trump tells Milei: “Make Argentina great again.” Milei then said his famous line: “Long live freedom, dammit!”

The Argentinian’s appearance at CPAC came a day after he met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. A senior Milei official claimed that Marc Stanley, the US ambassador to Buenos Aires, had suggested that Milei not speak at CPAC.

Milei’s Secretary of Security, Patricia Bullrich, who also attended the meeting south of Washington, said Stanley told Milei’s office that he found the conference “very political” and that it was not appropriate for him to participate.

“It was an honor to come,” Bullrich said. “He comes here as a speaker, to give a general speech, not to talk about the elections.”

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday evening.

Milei urged the CPAC crowd to end socialism and not approve further regulation of the economy. He also called abortion access a “murderous agenda” to reduce the size of the population.

“Don’t be led by mermaids singing social justice,” he said in Spanish. “Don’t give up your freedom. Fight for your freedom, because if you don’t fight, you will end up in misery.”