in a donald trump– far-right Brazilian president-style disinformation campaign Jair Bolsonaro he is gearing up for Brazil’s 2022 general election by preemptively pushing conspiracy theories about electronic vote counting, attacking the country’s top electoral court, and insisting he will only lose re-election if massive electoral fraud or God is involved. US officials have long expressed concern about Bolsonaro’s attempts to undermine the Oct. 2 election. In a private meeting last summer, the head of the CIA william burns implored top Brazilian officials to clamp down on unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud by the president, according to a Reuters report published on Thursday.
During the meeting, Burns made it “clear that the election was not an issue they should get into,” according to an unnamed Reuters source. Likewise, the White House national security adviser jake sullivan used an August visit to Brazil to dissuade Bolsonaro from further eroding voter confidence in the electoral process, Reuters reported at the time.
Augustus Helen, Bolsonaro’s national security adviser told Reuters the reported conversations between Bolsonaro’s aides and CIA officials “never happened”, while Bolsonaro called the Reuters report “fake news” in a live broadcast on Thursday. .
Since his successful 2018 re-election campaign, Bolsonaro, a nationalist who has been dubbed “the Trump of the tropics” due to his admiration and emulation for the former US president, has insisted that the only way he could be defeated was through electoral fraud. scheme. And in the wake of Trump’s “stolen election” crusade, culminating in last year’s Capitol riots, Bolsonaro redoubled his efforts by pulling out of the GOP’s 2020 playbook, criticizing Brazil’s electronic voting machines. and warn that his opponent could use the ballots of deceased voters. .
According to a new survey carried out by the pollster Ipespe, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the leftist candidate in the race and former president of Brazil, continues to lead Bolsonaro by double digits, which probably explains why Bolsonaro is laying the groundwork for dismissing the results as “a farce backed by… the electoral court.” While there are clear parallels to Trump’s 2020 election lies, Bolsonaro has actually gone a step further. Last week, he began to float the idea of using the military to oversee elections and conduct his own voter count, a count that would be used to examine the results of Brazil’s electoral court. This threat is particularly ominous given that Brazil was ruled by a military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985.
During his live broadcast on Thursday, Bolsonaro noted that his party would also outsource an audit of the elections to a private company, noting that such external auditors could conclude that it is “impossible” to prove that the election results are “free of any suspicion of outside interference.
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