Former President Donald Trump had not weighed in on Sunday’s riots by former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters as of Monday morning, but has made a string of supportive remarks about the Brazilian politician in the years leading up to the attack.
Bolsonaro, a far-right figure who has a history of anti-LGBTQ+ actions and comments, lost a reelection bid this past October to left-wing candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Bolsonaro has contested the election outcome by pushing the unproven claim that there were issues with electronic voting machines.
These claims have not prevented da Silva, who was sworn in as president at the start of the year, from assuming the position.
However on Sunday, Bolsonaro’s supporters stormed the presidential palace, Supreme Court, and Congress in the capital of Brasília to demand that he be restored to power. The attacks were a notable parallel to the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot, when a mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol building in order to halt the certification of Joe Biden‘s 2020 election win. Like Bolsonaro, Trump has contested the results of an election he lost. Additionally, neither attended the inauguration for their successor.
These similarities are underscored by the friendly relationship the two former presidents appear to have had for years. Bolsonaro, who has been described as the “Trump of the tropics,” received Trump’s endorsement in his reelection bid back in October 2021.
In his endorsement statement, Trump described Bolsonaro as a “great president” who will “never let the people of his great country down.”
”President Jair Bolsonaro and I have become great friends over the past few years,” his statement read. “He fights for, and loves, the people of Brazil.”
Trump continued to voice his support for Bolsonaro in the lead up to the 2022 election. As polling showed da Silva with a lead in support, Trump wrote in a September 2022 Truth Social post that Bolsonaro had “done a GREAT job for the wonderful people of Brazil.”
“President Bolsonaro loves Brazil beyond all else. He is a wonderful man, and has my Complete & Total Endorsement!!!” Trump said.
Just before an initial presidential vote a month later, Trump called on Brazilians to back Bolsonaro, describing him as “one of the great presidents of any country in the world,” Newsweek previously reported.
“He’s done an absolutely incredible job with your economy, with your country. He’s respected by everybody all throughout the world. So I strongly endorse President Bolsonaro. He will be your leader for hopefully a long time,” Trump said.
When Bolsonaro secured enough support in that vote to force a runoff against da Silva, Trump congratulated, and took some credit, for his performance.
“So happy to have helped a great person and leader get into the difficult to achieve, with other Conservative candidates and certain difficult rules and regulations, run off for President of Brazil,” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post, according to The Hill. He also urged voters to get behind Bolsonaro for the October 30 runoff.
During the second round of voting, Trump reiterated calls for residents of Brazil to help reelect Bolsonaro, saying that the former Brazilian president “needs you to get out and Vote.”
“Don’t let the Radical Left Lunatics & Maniacs destroy Brazil like they have so many other countries. President Bolsonaro has done a fantastic job, has my Complete and Total Endorsement, and deserves your VOTE. He will NEVER let you down!!!” Trump added.
Even before Bolsonaro was up for reelection, Trump did not shy away from publicly praising him.
In January of 2019, several months after Bolsonaro was elected president in October 2018, Trump reportedly said that Brazil had “a great new leader,” according to The Washington Post‘s David Nakamura.
“They say he’s the Donald Trump of Brazil. Can you believe that? But he likes it,” Trump continued, according to Nakamura. “If he didn’t, I wouldn’t like the country.”
Trump: “Brazil’s got a great new leader. They say he’s the Donald Trump of Brazil. Can you believe that? But he likes it. If he didn’t, I wouldn’t like the country.”
— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) January 14, 2019
Trump then tweeted in December 2019 about a “great call” he had with Bolsonaro and asserted that the “relationship between the United States and Brazil has never been Stronger!”
Meanwhile in March 2019, Trump touted Bolsonaro’s leadership when he welcomed him to the White House for a visit. Trump predicted that the two would have a “fantastic working relationship,” and said that they had “many views” in common, according to The Associated Press.
Newsweek reached out to a Trump spokesperson for comment.
The post Everything Trump Has Said About Jair Bolsonaro appeared first on Newsweek.