(Trends Wide)– Jason Miller, a former senior adviser to Donald Trump, said he was detained and briefly questioned by Brazilian authorities in the country’s capital on Tuesday.
Miller said he was at the Brasilia airport when he and his fellow travelers were questioned for three hours by authorities. Miller said on Twitter that he was in the country to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) summit that took place in the country this weekend.
“We were not charged with any crime, and we were told they just ‘wanted to chat,'” Miller said. “We informed them that we had nothing to say and eventually they allowed us to fly back to the United States.”
Trends Wide consulted the Brazilian government and the Federal Police about the reasons for questioning Miller and his fellow travelers, but has not received a response.
This Tuesday marks the Independence Day in Brazil, so large groups gathered to protest in the country’s cities, both in favor of and in opposition to President Jair Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro faces a pending election investigation, declining popularity polls and criticism for his response to the pandemic. Trends Wide Brazil reports that Bolsonaro met with Miller at the summit this weekend.
In a speech at a rally on Tuesday, Bolsonaro mentioned an “American intercepted” as he lashed out at Federal Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, without mentioning Miller or his colleagues by name. Bolsonaro refused to obey any Moreas decree, after it ruled that an investigation be opened into Bolsonaro’s dissemination of electoral disinformation.
“Alexandre de Moraes, stop being a bastard! Stop oppressing the people of Brazil. Stop censoring your people, “said Bolsonaro. Without mentioning Miller or any other American, Bolsonaro added:” We are more and more conservative. We are more and more respectful of our laws and our Constitution. And we will not allow more than people like Alexandre de Moraes continue to lash out at our democracy and disrespect our Constitution. He had every opportunity to act respectfully for all of us. But he did not do so, and still does not. Just as he just intercepted an American citizen for questioning by undemocratic acts. A disgrace for our country, sponsored by Alexandre de Moraes “.
Moraes has not publicly responded to Bolsonaro’s claims. It is unclear who or what authority in Brazil ordered the questioning of Miller and his colleagues.
Rival protests for and against Bolsonaro in various cities across the country have remained peaceful and the vast majority have already dispersed.
– Rodrigo Pedroso reported from Sao Paulo, Mike Warren, Samantha Beech, with information from Mitchell McCluskey.