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Brazil’s Bolsonaro Casts Doubt Over Biden Win on Eve of Meeting

·2 min read

(Bloomberg) -- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro cast doubt on the legitimacy of his US counterpart Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, two days before the two leaders were scheduled to meet at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.

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In remarks to a local television station Tuesday, Bolsonaro revived his claim that there was widespread fraud in the US election that his close ally, former US President Donald Trump lost to Biden. The comments echo Bolsonaro’s renewed attempts to discredit the electronic voting system in Brazil, where he’s seeking a second term in October’s election.

“It’s the American people who say this. I won’t get into sovereign issues of another country, but Trump was doing very well,” Bolsonaro said when asked if he believed there had been fraud in Biden’s election. Using a colloquial Portuguese expression to emphasize his reticence, he added: “We don’t want that to happen in Brazil.”

Asked about Bolsonaro’s remarks, a senior administration official in the Biden administration said Brazil and the US share a significant set of common interests and concerns, but also have some disagreements. Such conflicts will probably come up during a candid conversation between the two leaders, the official added, asking for anonymity because the discussion isn’t public.

In 2020, after Donald Trump lost the election to Biden, Bolsonaro said that there was “a lot of fraud” in the US voting system. The Brazilian leader was a close ally of the former US president, who didn’t recognize the results and presented dozens of lawsuits across the country, all of them rejected.

Bolsonaro was one of the last world leaders to congratulate Biden for his victory. Since then, relations between the two biggest economies in the Americas have cooled. The Brazilian leader, who still hasn’t met or spoken with Biden, will arrive in Los Angeles on Thursday.

In Tuesday’s interview, Bolsonaro said he believes the resumption of positive relations with the US government is possible, but that it would depend on the outcome of the bilateral meeting. He also said he is ready to react in case Biden puts pressure on him about the Amazon rainforest.

“He won’t, in my opinion, want to impose something about what I should do in the Amazon,” Bolsonaro said.

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