BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday he had invited his son Eduardo to become ambassador to the United States, underscoring his family’s influential role in the country’s diplomacy and domestic politics.
FILE PHOTO: Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, arrives for the showing of a documentary on the government of Jair Bolsonaro in Washington, U.S., March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo
Eduardo Bolsonaro, currently a federal congressman, told reporters separately he would accept the role if nominated. His father said earlier that the appointment would hinge on his son’s acceptance.
“If it is a mission given by the president, I would accept,” Eduardo Bolsonaro told reporters, adding he was prepared to resign from Congress if the president appoints him.
He added the ultimate nomination still depended on conversations with his father and Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo.
The appointment would need to be approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before passing to the full upper house for confirmation.
Brazil’s previous ambassador to Washington retired in April.
The far-right Brazilian president, who said his campaign last year was inspired by U.S. President Donald Trump, has made friendly overtures to the American leader and made similar use of family members as official advisers.
Bolsonaro’s eldest son, Flavio, is advancing his conservative social agenda as a senator.
Carlos Bolsonaro, another son of the president and a Rio de Janeiro city councilman, has taken a role in his father’s social media communications and stirred controversy by attacking members of the Brazilian Cabinet.
Eduardo Bolsonaro, the third of the president’s four sons and a daughter from three marriages, has counseled his father on foreign affairs.
After his father’s election in October, Eduardo Bolsonaro was one of his first envoys to Washington, where he met with Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, and was spotted wearing a “Trump 2020” cap.
Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon named the younger Bolsonaro the Latin American leader of his right-wing nationalist organization, “The Movement.”
During the Brazilian leader’s White House visit in March, Trump heaped praise on Eduardo Bolsonaro, who sat by his father during an Oval Office chat while Brazil’s foreign minister and ambassador in Washington were nowhere to be seen.
Reporting by Marcela Ayres and Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Carolina Mandl and Jake Spring; Editing by G Crosse and Peter Cooney