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Brazil's Bolsonaro reaffirms Trump ties, cites basless vote fraud claims

by Reuters
Thursday, 7 January 2021 00:13 GMT

BRASILIA, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday reiterated baseless allegations of U.S. election fraud and continued to back President Donald Trump, as the American leader's supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol building.

Bolsonaro, a far-right former army captain, has long admired Trump, and was one of the last global leaders to recognize President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro said he had followed the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to overturn the president's election defeat. The breach forced lawmakers to evacuate and Congress to postpone a session that would have certified Biden's victory.

Asked by a supporter for his views on the chaotic scenes in Washington, he said: "I followed everything today. You know I'm connected to Trump, right? So you already know my answer."

"There were lot of reports of fraud, a lot of reports of fraud," he added, in a video posted on social media, without providing evidence.

Bolsonaro also took the opportunity to repeat a baseless complaint that his own 2018 election victory was tainted by fraud and he should have won without a runoff.

Trump's election loss was a blow to Bolsonaro, who has sought closer ties with the United States. Biden's victory is likely to isolate Brazil on the global stage, and raise pressure on Bolsonaro's handling of the environment and human rights. (Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

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