Trump Wants to Reward Brazil’s Far-Right President With Special NATO Status

The love-fest just took another strange turn.

Chris Kleponis/ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

Adding a diplomatic spin to his repeated praise for Brazil’s authoritarian leader Jair Bolsonaro, President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he intended to give Brazil the designation of “major non-NATO ally”—a status that would extend some of the alliance’s economic and military privileges to the South American country.

“We had a great meeting today,” Trump said in a joint press conference alongside Bolsonaro from the Rose Garden. “As I told President Bolsonaro, I also intend to designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally, or even possibly, if you start thinking about it, maybe a NATO ally.” 

Perhaps recognizing the significant diplomatic hurdles that would likely hinder the latter proposal, Trump added, “Have to talk a lot of people but maybe a NATO ally, which will greatly advance security and cooperation between our countries.”

It was an unusual suggestion by a president who has repeatedly expressed his antipathy towards the nearly 70-year-old alliance, from threatening to withdraw the US, to making an international spectacle out of its annual summit by publicly insulting its members and claiming they’ve failed to carry their weight in defense spending.

Trump’s push to offer NATO privileges to Brazil further extended the love-fest between the two leaders, whose exchanges have focused on mutual admiration. During the Rose Garden press conference, Trump repeatedly praised the Brazilian leader, who has been called the “Brazilian Trump.”

In another nod to building stronger ties with the largest country in South America, Trump on Tuesday also said that he supported Bolsonaro’s efforts to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international organization focused on economic progress.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate