The Trump administration has been accused of attempting to pressure another foreign country into helping Trump’s reelection prospects, according to a letter from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
That letter cites Brazilian news articles that report US Ambassador to Brazil Todd Chapman pressured members of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration to lower ethanol tariffs in order to support President Donald Trump’s reelection efforts.
In the letter, Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Eliot Engel demands Chapman explain an article in which the ambassador is said to have asked for the tariffs to be lowered as a “favor” from the Brazilian government to the Trump reelection campaign.
“Iowa is the largest ethanol producer in the United States…and could be a key player in Trump’s election,” an article in the Brazilian newspaper O Globo reads, according to the letter. “Hence the importance – according to Chapman – for the Bolsonaro government to do the U.S. a favor.”
Beyond the report in O Globo, the New York Times notes, another Brazilian outlet, Estadão, published a similar story based on its own reporting, with its journalists finding that Chapman had made the request, and was rebuffed by government officials.
Alceu Moreira, a Brazilian congressman, also told the Times that Chapman “had made repeated references to the electoral calendar during a recent meeting the two had about ethanol.”
Engel has called for Chapman to respond to the reports by August 4, and for him to provide “any and all documents referring or related to any discussions” with Brazilian officials.
If the reports are accurate, the letter states, Chapman’s actions could be in violation of the Hatch Act, which prevents federal employees from engaging in certain political activities, such as partisan campaigning for candidates.
A State Department spokesperson said in a statement that Chapman’s efforts were part of a policy of pushing for lower tariffs in general, not narrowly focused on supporting an incumbent presidential campaign.
“Allegations suggesting that Ambassador Chapman has asked Brazilians to support a specific U.S. candidate are false,” the statement reads. “The United States has long been focused on reducing tariff barriers and will continue do so.”
Foreign interference marred the 2016 election. Requests for interference led to impeachment.
The reports are also of concern because of how closely they echo the request that led to Trump’s impeachment.
Last July, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “do us a favor” during a phone call in which he asked the leader to look into the business dealings of Hunter Biden, the son of then-candidate, now presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden. In that call, Trump appeared to condition military aid badly needed by Ukraine on Zelensky’s willingness to search for information that might be used to discredit Biden.
A congressional investigation into that call revealed the ways the Trump administration used traditional diplomatic channels — most notably the office of the US ambassador to the European Union — to forward that goal.
It isn’t clear whether Trump was involved in Chapman’s reported pressure campaign about ethanol, but as Vox’s Zack Beauchamp wrote during 2019’s impeachment hearings, the testimony of another of Trump’s ambassadors — former US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland — showed a willingness on Trump’s part “to use US foreign policy as a tool to cement his own hold on power.”
And that has Trump critics concerned about the Brazilian reports, with Engel warning Chapman in his letter, “Elections in the United States are for the American people and the American people only to decide.”
In delivering that warning, the letter explicitly links Chapman’s reported campaign to the 2016 election, the outcome of which foreign governments repeatedly attempted to sway, according to the results of a Senate investigation.
“Given the events of 2016, it is all the more important for U.S. ambassadors serving our country abroad to not insert themselves into U.S. elections or encourage foreign government officials from any branch of government to do so,” the letter reads.
This warning follows intelligence reports that find Russia has actively worked to disrupt November’s elections — as well as the Democratic presidential primary. But politicians and experts have warned that the US is not as prepared as it ought to be to combat such interference, leaving it vulnerable to meddling attempts not just by adversaries, but by also by Americans who, as Engel writes, “should know better.
What a horrible source to use.And the fleecing of immigrants continues....
The Trump administration is dramatically increasing fees for dozens of immigration and work applications, including a more than 80 percent increase on naturalization applications and a first-time fee for asylum applicants.cnn.it
Pretty bias source.
Source is no good, story can't be trusted.Since he came to office, US President Donald Trump has obsessively picked at the ties that bind America to its allies.edition.cnn.com
Just leaving this here in case anyone is actually interested
It's true tho, you are pulling out a lotta troops as "punishment".Source is no good, story can't be trusted.
LEFT BIAS These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward liberal causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports...mediabiasfactcheck.com
Maybe y'all should work on being able to defend yourselves.It's true tho, you are pulling out a lotta troops as "punishment".
Our relationship has worsened considerably since the big trumpet in the wh, and the little trumpet ambassador he put here that was frozen out by our politicians and thus got fired for being the useless cunt he was. Now it will be some military guy who got on fox news a lot. Haha, will prolly be about the same.
You are working against us on a couple of issues at times with mafia methods. You don't do that to allies without driving em away. So ofc Russia is delighted with this not just in a military sense.
But it's not just a Trump thing, it has been happening since Bush and continued throughout Obama too. Not to this extent tho.
That is what you take from it? It's like the least important thing here.Maybe y'all should work on being able to defend yourselves.
That’s a lot of shootings, from the first page of that list, mostly republican run states?Just leaving this here in case anyone is actually interested
Gun Violence Archive (GVA) is a not for profit corporation formed in 2013 to provide free online public access to accurate information about gun-related violence in the United States. GVA will collect and check for accuracy, comprehensive information about gun-related violence in the U.S. and...www.gunviolencearchive.org
Philly - Dem Mayor, Dem GovThat’s a lot of shootings, from the first page of that list, mostly republican run states?
It’s a mix list no doubt but Republicans states are the majority of the most recent shootingsPhilly - Dem Mayor, Dem Gov
Denver - Dem Mayor, Dem Gov
Chicago - Dem Mayor, Dem Gov
Pointblank, TX - ??? Mayor, Rep Gov
Montgomery - Dem Mayor, Rep Gov
Seems like a lot of Dems at the top of the list....
you would be speaking russian right now without those basesThat is what you take from it? It's like the least important thing here.
But sure, it's one reason I put punishment in "". I don't mind being less dependent on the US at all, especially if they act like a rogue state.
But don't kid yourself, your troops and bases in Germany are far more beneficial to you than they are to us.
No, literally the top 3 most recent are all dem controlled....We can just look at the list and see how many are in dem controlled areas with gun control, proving prohibition doesn't work.It’s a mix list no doubt but Republicans states are the majority of the most recent shootings