Trump welcomes Jair Bolsonaro to White House, praises Brazil’s controversial far-right leader – National


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WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump mentioned on Tuesday that he’ll work to designate Brazil a “main non-NATO ally” — and possibly even full NATO membership —as he welcomed the nation’s new Trump-friendly far-right chief to the White Home. That’s even if Brazil doesn’t high quality to affix the North Atlantic alliance.

Jair Bolsonaro, who’s been described because the “Trump of the Tropics,” ran on an unabashedly pro-American platform, emulating Trump in tone and in type. It’s a place that appeared to repay for the chief on his first official journey to Washington.

WATCH: U.S. finalizing settlement to permit house launches in Brazil, Trump says

As they sat down for the primary time, Trump praised Bolsonaro, saying he’d achieved “a really excellent job” up to now and hailed his run as “one of many unbelievable campaigns.” Trump mentioned he was “honored” Bolsonaro’s marketing campaign had drawn comparisons along with his personal 2016 victory. And he predicted the 2 would have a “incredible working relationship,” telling reporters at a joint press convention that they’ve “many views” in widespread. The 2 additionally exchanged soccer jerseys in an indication of friendship.

Bolsonaro has made clear he desires to strengthen navy and financial ties with the U.S., and Trump appeared desperate to ship, asserting that he would again Brazil’s effort’s to affix the Organisation for Financial Co-operation and Growth.

Trump additionally advised reporters he intends to designate Brazil as “a serious non-NATO ally” or “even, probably, when you begin serious about it, possibly a NATO ally,” although he mentioned he’d “have to speak to lots of people” for Brazil to affix the group.

Brazil, the biggest and most populous nation in Latin America, has pursued turning into a non-NATO ally to make it simpler to purchase U.S. weapons and decrease limitations for navy and different cooperation.

READ MORE: Trump welcomes Jair Bolsonaro to White Home, praises Brazil’s controversial far-right chief

However James Stavridis, a retired Navy admiral who was the Supreme Allied Commander at NATO from 2009 to 2013, mentioned Brazil doesn’t qualify for full membership underneath the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949.

“The concept of formal membership is a nonstarter in each dimension — the treaty doesn’t permit it, the Brazilians wouldn’t need it and the Europeans wouldn’t approve,” Stavridis mentioned in an e-mail alternate.

NATO’s personal membership coverage says it’s open solely to any “European state” that’s “ready to additional the rules of this treaty and to contribute to the safety of the North Atlantic space.”

Bolsonaro has a lot in widespread with Trump. He, too, ran an rebel, social media-powered marketing campaign. And like Trump, he has blasted unflattering tales as “pretend information” and used Twitter and Fb to bypass mainstream information organizations.

Standing side-by-side within the White Home Rose Backyard, Bolsonaro advised Trump the U.S. and Brazil stand collectively in help of “liberties,” together with “conventional household life-style,” and “in opposition to the gender ideology or the politically incorrect attitudes and in opposition to pretend information.”

WATCH: Trump praises Brazil’s efforts to stage humanitarian reduction efforts in Venezuela

“I’m very proud to listen to the president use the time period ‘pretend information’,” Trump later remarked.

As a congressman, Bolsonaro incessantly made disparaging feedback about gays, ladies, indigenous teams and blacks, and he has praised torture and killings by police and waxed nostalgic for Brazil’s previous navy dictatorship. Whereas such feedback have drawn sharp criticism, they’ve additionally generated consideration and fed into his narrative as a pacesetter unencumbered by political correctness.

Bolsonaro has additionally echoed Trump’s hardline immigration insurance policies, calling immigrants from a number of poor international locations the “scum of the world” and saying Brazil can’t change into a “nation of open borders.”

In an interview with Fox Information Monday, Bolsonaro mentioned he supported Trump’s immigration insurance policies and his efforts to construct a wall alongside the U.S.-Mexico border.

READ MORE: Brazil’s controversial incoming president on dictatorships, homosexual rights and rape

“Nearly all of potential immigrants shouldn’t have good intentions or don’t intend to do one of the best or do good for the American individuals,” he mentioned.

The 2 leaders have been anticipated to debate a spread of points throughout their go to, together with increasing commerce relations, rising U.S. private-sector funding in Brazil and resolving the continuing political disaster in Venezuela. Each are fierce critics of Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Prematurely of the assembly, the international locations signed a number of bilateral agreements, together with one that permits america to make use of Brazil’s Alcantara Aerospace Launch Base for its satellites. Brazil additionally introduced an finish to visa necessities for U.S. vacationers who go to the nation, whereas Trump agreed to Brazilian participation within the Trusted Traveler “International Entry” program.

Days after taking workplace on Jan. 1, Bolsonaro, a former military captain, mentioned Brazil would contemplate letting the U.S. have a navy base within the nation as solution to counter Russian affect within the area, significantly associated to Brazil’s neighbor Venezuela.

That assertion was roundly criticized, together with by former navy members of his authorities, and the administration backed off.

WATCH: Bolsonaro says his election has freed Brazil from ‘socialism and political correctness’

Bolsonaro, who has routinely expressed his admiration for Trump and incessantly says nearer U.S. ties are key to Brazil’s future, sought to underscore his pro-America stance all through his go to.

“For the primary time shortly, a pro-America Brazilian president arrives in DC,” he tweeted after arriving on Monday. “It’s the start of a partnership centered on liberty and prosperity, one thing that every one of us Brazilians have lengthy wished for.”

Bolsonaro succeeded a leftist who at occasions had a frosty relationship with america. In 2013, leaks from Edward Snowden revealed that the Nationwide Safety Company had wiretapped conversations of former President Dilma Rousseff, resulting in a number of years of tense relations between the U.S. and Brazil.

Prengaman reported from Rio de Janeiro. Related Press writers Mauricio Savarese in Madrid and Ben Fox, Robert Burns, Matthew Lee, Catherine Lucey and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.

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