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Report: US ambassador asked Brazil for favour to help Trump in 2020

Washington: House Democrats are demanding a reckoning from the US ambassador to Brazil after news reports there said he was urging country officials to lower ethanol tariffs to help President Donald Trump’s chances of reelection.

In a letter Friday to Ambassador Todd Chapman, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Represenative Eliot Engel, and Western Hemisphere subcommittee Chairman Albio Sires, cited a report in prominent Brazilian newspaper O Globo depicting Chapman telling Brazilian officials about “the importance for the [President Jair] Bolsonaro government of maintaining Donald Trump as US President.”

Jair Bolsonaro with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago in March, just before the pandemic changed their fortunes.

Jair Bolsonaro with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago in March, just before the pandemic changed their fortunes.Credit:Bloomberg

In the article, according to the letter, Chapman also communicated to Brazilian officials that it was important for their “government to do the US a favour” by reducing ethanol tariffs, as those are important in the state of Iowa, a potential “key player” in 2020.

Panel Democrats are asking Chapman to state in writing whether the comments are true, and back up his claim with documents related to his conversations with Brazilian officials, “to reassure Congress” that he “is truly representing the interests of the United States and not the narrow, political interests of President Trump.”

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