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Trump endorses Brazilian President Bolsonaro

Former President Trump endorsed his Brazilian ally Jair Bolsonaro for reelection, even as Bolsonaro's own government has recommended him for criminal charges over his handling of Covid-19. 

'President Jair Bolsonaro and I have become great friends over the past few years. He fights hard for, and loves, the people of Brazil — just like I do for the people of the United States,' Trump wrote in a statement Tuesday. 

'Brazil is lucky to have a man such as Jair Bolsonaro working for them. He is a great President and will never let the people of his great country down!'

On the same day, seven members of an 11-member senate committee recommended nine criminal charges against Bolsonaro, including crimes against humanity, after a 1,200 page report was made public detailing a six-month inquiry into the conservative leader's response to the pandemic. 

The report accuses Bolsonaro of 'quackery' for dismissing the virus as a 'little flu' and for delays in ordering vaccines - a vaccine which he has refused to take himself because he says he has natural immunity after catching Covid last year.

'President Jair Bolsonaro and I have become great friends over the past few years. He fights hard for, and loves, the people of Brazil — just like I do for the people of the United States,' Trump wrote in a statement Tuesday

'Brazil is lucky to have a man such as Jair Bolsonaro working for them. He is a great President and will never let the people of his great country down!' he added 

The report says Bolsonaro 'deliberately exposed' Brazil to Covid-19 in order to get the country to herd immunity.  It also accused him of ignoring communications with vaccine manufacturers such as Pfizer.

Over 606,000 have died of Covid-19 in Brazil, and 55% are fully vaccinated.  

Renan Calheiros, the centrist senator who is the lead author, announced a last-minute withdrawal of 'homicide' and 'genocide' charges, after some infighting within the panel. 

Still, Bolsonaro enjoys enough congressional support to avoid the opening of impeachment proceedings. 

Whether to bring forth any criminal charges would be up to Prosecutor-General Augusto Aras, a Bolsonaro appointee who is widely expected to protect him.  

Bolsonaro called the lengthy report a 'joke,' according to Reuters.

Bolsanaro has been called Brazil's Trump and the two conservative leaders have regularly exchanged praise for one another. 

The Brazilian leader peddled Trump's claims of fraud in the 2020 US election and has already sought to undermine confidence in Brazil's voting systems in the election set for October of next year. 

Bolsonaro's popularity hit its lowest point since he took office in 2019 last month, with 53% disapproving and 22% approving, according to a Datafolha poll reported by Reuters. 

In a simulated runoff, Bolsonaro's opponent, leftis former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was ahead, 56-31%.