Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday he hoped Donald Trump would come out ahead in the down-to-the-wire US election, lashing out at Democratic contender Joe Biden’s comments on protecting the Amazon rainforest.
The far-right leader, who has been dubbed a “Tropical Trump,” has cultivated a close relationship with the Republican president, and has not been shy about endorsing his bid for reelection.
“You know where I stand, I’ve been clear. I have a good relationship with Trump. I hope he’ll be reelected,” Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace in Brasilia.
He denied backing Trump amounted to “interference” in US affairs, saying, “Who are we to interfere anyway?”
“How do you want me to interfere? Economically? Militarily? A cyber attack?” he joked.
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Turning to Biden, who is locked in a tight race with Trump that could stretch Tuesday’s election into hours or days of vote-counting, Bolsonaro attacked the former vice president for urging Brazil to better preserve the Amazon.
“The Democratic candidate has spoken twice about the Amazon. Is that what you want for Brazil? Now that’s what I call interference,” he said.
The Amazon has been a touchy subject for Bolsonaro since Biden said in September in his first debate against Trump that he planned to raise funds from the international community to offer Brazil $20 billion to “stop tearing down the forest.”
“If you don’t, then you’re going to have significant economic consequences,” Biden said.
Bolsonaro, who has faced international condemnation for presiding over a surge in deforestation and wildfires since taking office in 2019, called the statement “disastrous and unnecessary” the following day.