The committee investigating the attacks concluded Trump was at the center of an alleged conspiracy to try and overturn the election results using illegal means, and recommended the Justice Department prosecute him for it.
Bolsonaro has been much more subdued, according to public statements. Before departing for what is believed to be a temporary stay in Florida, he called on his supporters to avoid violence and accept Lula’s victory.
Even so, Bolsonaro’s supporters stormed the three pillars of Brazil’s federal government on Sunday – the presidential palace, the Congress and the Supreme Court – and brought democracy to a temporary halt.
Some called for the Brazilian army to restore the far-right Bolsonaro to power and oust the leftist Lula. After Lula and his associates criticized him for fomenting an attempted overthrow, Bolsonaro took to social media to deny any involvement. “I repudiate the accusations, without evidence.”
Bolsonaro and his son Eduardo, a Brazilian congressman, have become close to Trump and to top advisors like Bannon and Miller over the years. After his father’s defeat,
Eduardo met with Trump himself at his Mar-a-Lago resort last November and also spoke with Bannon and Miller during his trip to South Florida, according to The Washington Post and other media reports. He was also in Washington meeting with Trump associates in the days before the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
Bannon, for his part, has used his vast media and social media presence to egg on Brazil’s pro-Bolsonaro protesters into supporting a “Stop the Steal” movement much like the one he supported in America. Miller and Bannon have worked with Eduardo Bolsonaro for years on election issues, while the younger Bolsonaro has promoted Bannon’s program to spread populist nationalism in Brazil and throughout Latin America.
More: Brazil investigates after storming of Congress by backers of Bolsonaro, known as ‘Trump of Tropics’
Brian Winter, a Latin America and Brazil political analyst,
said there’s no indication either Jair or Eduardo Bolsonaro themselves supported the uprising, either publicly or privately.
a former Trump White House adviser, clearly did, and his influence may have prompted those around the Bolsonaros to act, according to Winter, who studies Brazilian politics and social media.
“It’s clear that Steve Bannon and Jason Miller had influence over Bolsonaro and his movement over many years,” Winter, editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly,
told USA TODAY. “It’s also true that watching Brazil has often felt like watching the U.S. on a two-year tape delay, especially after seeing this weekend’s events.”
“That said, it would be premature to say Bannon or Miller were somehow responsible for what happened Sunday,” said Winter.
Bannon and Miller did not respond to requests for comment.
More: Hundreds arrested in Brazil as protesters ransack government buildings in Jan. 6-style attack
For weeks before Sunday’s violent attacks on government buildings, Twitter and other social media channels in Brazil surged with the same kind of angry rhetoric that existed in the U.S. before the attack on America’s seat of democracy. Some called for people to come to the capital of Brasília for a “war cry party.” The wording of others also had similar echoes to Trump’s – and Bannon’s – calls for Trump’s supporters to come to Washington, D.C. to join in a “wild” protest of lawmakers in Congress who were certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
Bannon and other Trump-style activists have long championed Bolsonaro. Bannon participated in events and meetings when the Brazilian president visited the White House in 2019.
Eduardo Bolsonaro orchestrated his father’s trip to Washington. And he has been active in Bannon’s effort to use his “The Movement” to spread populist nationalism across the globe, from Hungary to Brazil.
Many ties but no accusations
There are many long-standing ties between Trump’s political movement and Bolsonaro. The Conservative Political Action Conference, which has
strong ties to Trump, has held conferences in Brazil for years featuring Bolsonaro, his son and their allies.
Miller, the chief executive officer of the GETTR
social media platform and another former Trump aide, was detained at the airport for three hours before he and aides were allowed to board a plane back to the United States after a CPAC meeting in 2021.
“We were not accused of any wrongdoing, and told only that they ‘wanted to talk,'” Miller said at the time. “We informed them that we had nothing to say and were eventually released to fly back to the United States.”
US takes wait-and-see approach
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was asked Monday whether some public figures involved in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol were “fanning the protests that are happening in Brazil.”
“Does the U.S. see any formal or informal link between those who have may have been behind Jan. 6, and what happened on the ground there either directionally monetarily or more to support generally” the attacks on Brazil’s government, a reporter asked Sullivan.
“I don’t have any information in that regard,” Sullivan replied. “If we get – gain such information, we’ll be sure to share with you all but as of now I’ve got nothing on that.”