Tucker Carlson under fire for backing Brazil Bolsonaro riot

Right-wing host calls current leftist Brazilian president ‘a convicted criminal’

Shweta Sharma
Tuesday 10 January 2023 08:30 GMT

Related video: Brazil’s security forces regain control of Congress from Bolsonaro supporters

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has come under renewed fire on social media after he claimed Brazil’s presidential election was “very clearly a rigged election” and expressed sympathy with rioters who stormed government buildings.

The right-wing host said the mobs of supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro, who rioted at Brazil’s presidential palace, Supreme Court and legislative body, were frustrated and angry as they knew “democracy has been hijacked in Brazil”.

“Consider what is happening tonight in Brazil,” he said.

Carlson, who interviewed Mr Bolsonaro in June last year, called the current leftist Brazilian president “a convicted criminal”.

This was an apparent reference to the 12-year sentence on corruption charges against Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva that the country’s Supreme Court had thrown out in 2021.

“Thanks to what was very clearly a rigged election, a convicted criminal – Lula da Silva – is now the president of the most important country in South America. Millions of people in Brazil understand exactly what happened. They know that their democracy has been hijacked, possibly forever.”

Carlson did not provide any evidence for his claims of the election being rigged.

Several Brazilian and American nationals called out the right-wing anchor for making claims without any evidence and said his views on the channel are a “menace to international security”.

“Outside of Donald Trump, is there anyone in this country who has done more harm to truth, decency, and democracy these past seven years than,” said former US congressman Joe Walsh.

Another user said who claimed to be a Brazilian national said: “Our electoral system is amazing. Fully computerised, voting is always on a Sunday, I never waited more than 15 minutes, and there has NEVER been a report of fraud.”

Carlson went on to claim that pro-Bolsonaro protesters “are angry because the new Lula government has eliminated their most basic civil liberties”.

“Lula is working to turn Brazil into a Chinese-style dictatorship,” he further claimed without providing any basis for them.

On Sunday, hundreds of thousands of angry Bolsonaro supporters rampaged through government buildings and smashed windows, furniture and artwork in the worst attack on state institutions since Brazil’s return to democracy in the 1980s.

It was an unprecedented sight that lasted for several hours and ended in thousands of arrests; all the while, parallels to the US’s own Jan 6 insurrection on Congress remained inescapable, down to the attendance of a man dressed like the QAnon Shaman.

Supporters of Mr Bolsonaro have been calling for a military intervention to prevent Lula from returning to the office since his 30 October election win. Lula was previously president of Brazil from 2003 to 2011.

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