Steve Bannon, the former White House adviser who was expelled by President Donald Trump for leaking confidential information and self-promotion, will be the special guest of Jair Bolsonaro for an official dinner on Monday, the eve of the Brazilian President’s meeting with Trump at the White House.
Bannon, who has advised Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo, will be among a group of right-wing guests joining Bolsonaro at his table for the exclusive event at the Brazilian ambassador’s residence.
Bolsonaro will be in Washington next week where he will meet with Trump in the Oval Office. Their discussions will include trade, transnational crime and restoring democracy in Venezuela.
Bolsonaro has made no secret of his desire to establish close ties with the United States. White House National Security Advisor John Bolton and other Trump officials have raised the possibility of a free trade agreement between the two nations.
Trump fired Bannon in 2017. In his public letter about the firing, Trump said:
Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind…
Steve had very little to do with our historic victory… Steve doesn’t represent my base—he’s only in it for himself.
Steve pretends to be at war with the media, which he calls the opposition party, yet he spent his time at the White House leaking false information to the media to make himself seem far more important than he was. It is the only thing he does well. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have had influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue, whom he helped write phony books.
Bannon as the special guest of Bolsonaro in the Brazilian embassy in Washington prompted the headline of Veja, the Brazilian counterpart of Time magazine, “Bolsonaro’s dinner with Bannon in U.S. is a slap in the face of the Trump administration,” in a report that said, “The inclusion of Bannon among dinner guests at the Brazilian embassy is a breach of protocol with the host country.”
Bolsonaro should put himself in Trump’s shoes. Would he find respectful if Trump, in an official trip to Brazil to meet him, he first met a man fired by Bolsonaro for leaking confidential information and self-promotion?
According to Veja, the exclusive event of Bolsonaro for Bannon will happen under the influence of Brazilian astrologer Olavo de Carvalho, who has been a self-exiled immigrant in the U.S. for 15 years, and Eduardo Bolsonaro.
Bannon and Carvalho had two meetings last January. Both share the same background: They were inspired by René Guénon, an Islamic occultist who founded the Traditionalist School to promote esoteric conservatism and fight Marxism. Bannon, Carvalho and Guénon came from the same Catholic background.
After being fired by Trump, Bannon created a movement to influence right-wingers in Europe and Latin America. He had his first public meeting with Eduardo Bolsonaro August 2018. When asked by the international press, Jair Bolsonaro denied any ties with Bannon.
Late November, both met again: Eduardo Bolsonaro attended Bannon’s birthday party.
And last January, Bannon chose Eduardo as the head of his movement in Brazil and Latin America. “The Movement is honored to welcome Eduardo Bolsonaro as a distinguished partner, and Brazil, a key ally in South America,” Bannon said.
As part of his effort to expand his movement and laying a strategic groundwork for Bolsonaro’s U.S. visit, Bannon is propelling up Carvalho by officially inviting people to a hotel in Washington DC, on March 16, for the screening of Carvalho’s movie, which has several New Age characteristics. His movie was officially launched in the United States in 2017, but there was no American public willing to watch it.
Bolsonaro’s meeting with Bannon is not only uncomfortable for Trump, who had troubles and conflicts with Bannon. It is also uncomfortable for Brazilian evangelicals, who had massive influence on Bolsonaro’s victory, but now they have just to observe Bolsonaro giving opportunities and space for Carvalho and his “nominations” — at the expense of evangelicals. Now will they have to observe also Bannon getting also space for such privileges — again, at the expense of evangelicals?
The Evangelical Parliamentary Caucus, traditionally the most conservative force in the Brazilian Congress, has voiced its concerns and protests for having received very few posts in the Bolsonaro administration.
Less space for evangelicals means only one thing: More space for the influence of Carvalho and Bannon.
It remains to be seen what Trump and evangelical leaders will think about Carvalho and Bannon, two adherents of a Islamic occultist, getting exclusivity from Bolsonaro.
With information from McClatchyDC, PR Newswire and Veja.
Portuguese version of this article: Steve Bannon, expulso por Trump por vazamento de informações e autopromoção, será o convidado especial de Jair Bolsonaro na véspera da reunião do presidente brasileiro com o Presidente Trump na Casa Branca
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