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

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OXON HILL, Md. (AP) 鈥 Javier Milei, the fiery, right-wing populist president of Argentina, gave Donald Trump on Saturday an ecstatic hug a day after meeting with Biden administration officials in Buenos Aires.

Trump and Milei were the biggest speakers to wrap up the annual Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington. During their backstage greeting, captured in a video posted by a Trump campaign staffer, Milei shouted 鈥淧resident!鈥 and pulled Trump in for a close hug before they took pictures together.

Milei took office in December after running a campaign inspired by Trump, complete with red 鈥淢ake Argentina Great Again鈥 hats in a nod to the former president鈥檚 own 鈥淢ake America Great Again鈥 movement. He was the last of several foreign politicians at CPAC to echo popular Trump themes on issues like migration and the perceived threat of socialism.

In the video, Trump tells Milei, 鈥淢ake Argentina Great Again.鈥 Milei then uttered his famous phrase, 鈥淟ong live freedom, damn it!鈥

The Argentine鈥檚 appearance at CPAC came a day after he met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. A top Milei official alleged that Marc Stanley, the U.S. ambassador in Buenos Aires, had suggested that Milei not speak at CPAC.

Milei鈥檚 security minister, Patricia Bullrich, who was also attending the gathering south of Washington, said Stanley told Milei鈥檚 office that he thought the conference was 鈥渧ery political鈥 and that it was not appropriate for him to participate.

鈥淚t was honorable to come,鈥 Bullrich said. 鈥淗e comes here as a speaker, to give a general speech, not to talk about the election.鈥

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

Milei urged the CPAC crowd to put a stop to socialism and not to endorse more regulation of the economy. He also called abortion access a 鈥渕urderous agenda鈥 to decrease the size of the population.

鈥淒o not be led by mermaids singing social justice,鈥 he said in Spanish. 鈥淒o not give up your freedom. Fight for your freedom because if you do not fight, you will be led into misery.鈥