Brazil's Bolsonaro favors Trump win, refrains from cheering potential winner

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a photo-op with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro before attending a working dinner at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., March 7, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner//File Photo

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday refrained from commenting on the potential winner of the tight U.S. election, but reiterated his support for President Donald Trump, and suggested Democratic challenger Joe Biden would interfere on issues like the Amazon rainforest if elected.

“You know my position, it is clear ... I have a good policy with Trump, I hope he will be reelected,” he told supporters in Brasilia. “The Democratic candidate on two occasions talked about the Amazon. Is that what you want for Brazil? Interference from outside?”

Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, has modeled himself on the U.S. president and delights in being called the “Tropical Trump.” The U.S. president has not completely redrawn U.S.-Brazilian relations in the way Brasilia may have hoped, but he is a key ideological ally for Bolsonaro.

If Biden is declared the winner of the presidential election after all the votes are counted, he could put the environment and human rights at the top of the U.S.-Brazilian agenda, complicating relations and jeopardizing trade.

The U.S. presidential election hung in the balance on Wednesday, with a handful of close-fought states set to decide the outcome in the coming hours or days, even as Trump falsely claimed victory and made unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud.

World leaders were in limbo as they waited for clarity in the results, with most avoiding weighing in amid the uncertainty.

Bolsonaro had been advised by domestic aides to wait for official results before congratulating Trump on a win, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu, Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Stephen Eisenhammer and Paul Simao