After Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election and the bloody January 6 riot Trump sparked, America’s 45th president immediately lost many of his ties to world leaders he once called friends. However, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who modeled himself in Trump’s image, has sought to keep bromance alive.
This is something former President Trump, months after officially leaving the White House, has not forgotten and has expressed interest in returning the favor.
This summer, according to two people familiar with the matter, Trump told confidants he was open to publicly approving Bolsonaros’ re-election, potentially at a mega-rally in Brazil where he and Bolsonaro could appear side-by-side together, to protest against what they each deem undesirable election results. Bolsonaro, who is set to fail decisively in his reelection bid next year, has preemptively propagated baseless allegations of electoral fraud, a strategy vividly reminiscent of Trump’s failed coup to the States. United.
Whether Trump ends up visiting his Brazilian counterpart soon or not (the US government has issued a level four advisory for those wishing to visit Brazil), the ties between Bolsonaro-world and Trumpland remain firmly intact.
President Bolsonaros Eduardo’s son, who is a member of the Brazilian parliament and has been described in the US press as Brazil’s Donald Trump Jr., recently met Trump, according to a post on the Brazilian lawmaker’s Instagram account. Last month, young Bolsonaro posted photos of himself at the Trump Tower, standing next to the former president. Bolsonaro, whose little girl posed alongside the ex-president in an autographed MAGA baseball cap, said he took the opportunity to invite [Trump] come to our country when it sees fit, maybe in a CPAC-Brazil.
Trump apparently did not attend Brazil’s version of the annual Conservative US summit, although Donald Trump Jr. addressed the conference by video. CPAC Brasil 2021, held in Braslia, the capital of Brazil, earlier this month, is one of the many overseas spinoffs of the conference in the United States, hosted by the Conservative Union of America. The ACU is led by Trump-aligned lobbyist Matt Schlapp, who is also a friend of the Bolsonaro political dynasty.
It was upon returning from that trip that a delegation of U.S. conservatives, including former Trump senior adviser and spokesperson Jason Miller, was briefly detained by Brazilian law enforcement as they attempted to leave the country on Tuesday. The incident came on Brazil’s Independence Day, as Bolsonaro urged his supporters to defend his administration by flooding the streets of Braslia, as well as other major cities.
A day before his arrest, Miller appeared on the podcast of former Trump collaborator Steve Bannons to praise Bolsonaro, whom he described as a very impressive man.
In many ways, President Bolsonaro has the same superpowers as President Trump, Miller said.
Gettr, Miller’s attempt to create a pro-Trump social media platform, has proven particularly popular with Brazilian conservative supporters of President Bolsonaro, according to a recent report from the Stanford University Internet Observatory. As part of this study, researchers looked at the frequency of flag emojis in the profiles of Gettr users: Brazilian flags, affixed to 11,350 profiles, were exceeded only by US flags, found on 20,650 accounts. . The flag metric is an imprecise measure of Gettrs’ national demographics at around 1.5 million followers, but nonetheless points to a particularly large and vocal community of pro-Bolsonaro users on the social media app. Their presence in such large numbers, the Stanford researchers wrote, is likely due at least in part to the support of Bolsonaros’ son Flavio, who announced he was joining the platform in July.
The pugnacious Brazilian president returned the favor, wooing Miller with a high-profile reunion during the trip to Brazil. Miller met a barefoot Bolsonaro and his son Eduardo, according to photos posted on Twitter by fellow attendee Matthew Tyrmand, a board member of pro-Trump conservative activist group James OKeefes Project Veritas. During the meeting, Bolsonaro and his son held up a Project Veritas shirt.
He wants to be sort of the South American branch of Trumpism, if you will, said Gustavo Ribeiro, the founder of Brazilian news site The Brazilian Report.
Critics of Bolsonaros had accused him of using the protests to stage a coup or his own version of a Jan.6-style attack on government institutions. As protesters broke through some police barricades the night before, pro-Bolsonaro rallies were hampered by low attendance and a heightened law enforcement presence.
Eduardo Bolsonaro has become an emissary between his father and the American far right. In 2019, the young Bolsonaro joined a kind of international populist movement founded by Bannon, as a representative for South America.
Andre Pagliarini, an associate professor at Hampden-Sydney College who studies modern Brazilian political history, said the Bolsonaros were affiliating with Trump associates like Bannon in an attempt to draw closer to Trump.
It’s that lingering Trump dust that’s always on Bannon that attracts them, Pagliarini said.
Eduardo Bolsonaro even wooed less internationally known Trump allies in the United States, such as the CEO of MyPillow and a staunch Trump ally, Mike Lindell. In August, Bolsonaro spoke at the ill-fated Lindells Cyber Symposium event, a clumsy attempt to prove the false conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.
Prior to his speech, Bolsonaro presented Lindell with a red MAGA hat which he said came from the twice indicted former US president.
Bolsonaro will win unless he’s stolen guess what? machines, Bannon said as young Bolsonaro took to the stage.
Machines! Lindell agreed.
For his part, pillow mogul Trumpist has yet to put everything on Bolsonaro. Lindell told the Daily Beast on Thursday night that he currently does not plan to invest any money or resources in anything related to Brazil, as he works to launch new fronts in his audit crusade in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Alabama, Colorado.
Bolsonaro is set to lose his 2022 re-election campaign to former left-wing Brazilian President Luiz Incio Lula da Silva. Ahead of this projected defeat, Bolsonaro brings baseless allegations of massive electoral fraud by Trump and the GOP to Brazil, as part of an effort to claim victory even if he loses.
Here is a denial ring in the United States that was established after Trump lost and that they can sort of hook up with, Pagliarini said.
Bolsonaro has already adapted the American cultural warfare fighting in Brazil, according to Ribeiro, encompassing the fighting for gun control and the supposed COVID-19 cure with hydroxychloroquine.
Bolsonaro was also an early promoter of ivermectin, the pest control drug that was adopted as an unproven COVID-19 treatment by anti-vaccine groups in the United States.
We don’t have a Second Amendment here, but they still use arguments very similar to what Republicans would use in the United States about the freedom to bear arms, Ribeiro said.
Some pro-Trump media have adopted Bolsonaro as a figure Bannon called the Trump of the tropics. Social media channels QAnon eagerly followed the Brazilian protests, portraying them as ordinary Brazilians demanding their freedom from the liberal elites. Right-wing blog The Gateway Pundit argued that pro-Bolsonaro protesters and Trump supporters were all part of the same global battle against so-called corruption.
This is not the first time that meetings between Bolsonaro and Trumpworld have made the headlines. In March 2020, a meeting between Trump and Bolsonaro in Mar-a-Lago became a coronavirus hotspot in the United States after several Bolsonaro collaborators tested positive for the virus.
Trump has praised the Bolsonaros style several times when he was in power and likes the way Bolsonaro lashes out at the media in his country and at political correctness, said a source close to Trump who spoke to him about Bolsonaro on several occasions. But the [former] The president did not fail to point out that he is more handsome than Bolsonaro at least twice when I spoke to him.
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