Donald Trump silent as supporters of ally Bolsonaro launch Jan 6-style attack on Brazilian capital

Trump ally’s supporters have been protesting election since October

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Monday 09 January 2023 04:52 GMT
Bolsonaro supporters storm presidential palace andNational Congress in Brazil

A conservative candidate loses re-election and attacks the integrity of the election system while refusing to fully concede defeat as many of the candidate’s supporters protest and storm the capital.

Owing to recent events, this timeline can now hold true for either Donald Trump or his far-right ally in South America, former Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro.

On Sunday, masses of Bolsonaro supporters stormed the national congress building and other official sites in capital Brasília, part of the movement’s continued, oftentimes violent, protests against Mr Bolsonaro’s election loss to leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

So far, despite the many parallels to the Jan 6 insurrection, Mr Trump has refrained from offering any remarks on the siege in Brazil.

The one-time president was clearly active on social media, continuing a round-the-clock commentary on his Truth Social network, including posting news articles and calling congressman Adam Schiff a “sleazebag and a traitor” throughout the hours when hundreds of Bolsonaro diehards smashed through office buildings.

The Independent has contacted Mr Trump for comment.

Mr Trump had endorsed the renewed election bid of far-right Bolsonaro last year.

“President Jair Bolsonaro and I have become great friends over the past few years. He fights hard for, and loves, the people of Brazil—Just like I do for the people of the United States,” Mr Trump said in a statement in October.

“Brazil is lucky to have a man such as Jair Bolsonaro working for them,” he added.

The admiration is mutual.

Mr Bolsonaro, who has been dubbed the “Trump of the Tropics,” shares many of Mr Trump’s conservative views criticising immigration, political correctness and what both men call the “fake news”.

“May I say that Brazil and the United States stand side by side in their efforts to ensure liberties and respect to traditional family lifestyles with respect to God our creator... and against fake news,” Mr Bolsonaro said during a visit to the US in 2019.

The former Brazilian president also used similar tactics after his election defeat, consistently challenging election results, refusing to concede and skipping his successor’s inauguration.

The US right, including those within the Trump circle, has heavily courted Brazil, which, like the US, has a large evangelical population and sharp divides over issues like race and the economy.

Figures like Donald Trump Jr have participated in the Brazilian spinoff of the influential CPAC conference.

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