Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s right-wing president, visited President Trump in the White House on Tuesday and followed up his official business with a Christian Broadcasting Network interview and meeting with conservative religious leaders, including CBN’s Pat and Gordon Robertson. U.S. right-wing leaders had supported Bolsonaro’s campaign and celebrated his election as an answer to prayer.
At a Rose Garden press conference with Trump, Bolsonaro said, “Brazil and the United States stand side-by-side in their efforts to ensure liberties and respect the traditional family lifestyles and respect to God, our creator, against the gender ideology and the politically correct attitudes and against fake news.” (Trump said he was proud that Bolsonaro was using the term “fake news.”)
Bolsonaro told CBN correspondent George Thomas that his election was a “huge miracle” given that so much of the media was against him. Bolsonaro said he agrees with much of what Trump does, and in addition to that, “we are both Christians and are God-fearing men.”
CBN noted that Bolsonaro “has surrounded himself with well-known Brazilian evangelicals,” including influential pastor Silas Milafaia, who told CBN he believes Bolsonaro is God’s chosen man to lead Brazil. He praised Bolsonaro for opposing abortion and the “privilege” of the LGBT movement.
CBN’s Thomas asked Bolsonaro about the impact that “decades of leftist ideology has had on the social and spiritual fabric of Brazil.” Bolsonaro responded that the ideology of the left has taken over universities and journalism and eroded family values.
CBN also reported on Bolsonaro’s meeting with evangelical leaders, which included the Robertsons, Ralph Reed, Steve Strang, Penny Nance, Jonathan Falwell and Harry Jackson. “The American delegation prayed for Bolsonaro and promised to stand with his administration as he fights to protect Brazil’s Christian heritage and family values.”
As RWW reported last summer, Bolsonaro’s campaign got a boost from right-wing activists in the U.S., including former White House adviser Steve Bannon and former Rep. Michele Bachmann. During the campaign, Bolsonaro played down Bannon’s role. But Associated Press reported this week that Bolsonaro met with Bannon on Sunday night.
As RWW has previously noted, Bolsonaro’s far-right record and rhetoric has demonstrated contempt for women, LGBTQ people, the media, and democratic values. And shortly after his inauguration he began issuing executive orders and taking other actions going after the people he had targeted in his campaign rhetoric: the LGBTQ community; indigenous people.