Donald Trump at CPAC

Former U.S. President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks during the 2023 Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC) Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on March 4, 2023.

(Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump Calls US Democracy a 'Very Dangerous System' at CPAC

Former U.S. president headlines ousted autocrat double-header by following Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro at annual far-right convention.

The former presidents of Brazil and the United States took the stage CPAC on Saturday where both fascist politicians continued to sow doubt about their respective electoral defeats as they received standing ovations from the annual convention's far-right attendees.

Brazil's disgraced former leader Jair Bolsonaro—whose supporters stormed government offices in January after his successor, leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was sworn into office—was brought onto the stage this year's "diminished" CPAC gathering to blaring rock music and loud cheers from the crowd.

Addressing the American audience, Bolsonaro indicated once more his doubts that he lost the Brazilian election fairly, saying, "I had way more support in 2022 than I had in 2018, and I don't understand why the numbers said the opposite."

"I thank God for the mission of being president of Brazil for one term," he said, but hinted at a possible third run for president by adding: "But I feel deep inside that this mission is still not over."

When Trump took the podium as the convention's keynote appearance, there again was raucous applause.

During his speech, he singled out Bolsonaro in the audience and said it was a "great honor" to be appearing with the "very popular" former president.

"Our getting back in the White House is their worst nightmare," Trump said of Democrats and his other political opponents. "But it is our country's only hope."

Trump went on to call the electoral process in the United States a "very bad" and a "very dangerous system" that only he and the far-right attendees at CPAC can overcome.

During the speech, Trump vowed to "finish what we started" as the enthusiastic crowd chanted "Four more years! Four more years!"

In the traditional straw poll taken each year by CPAC attendees, Trump won in a landslide, the convention's organizers announced on Saturday, with the former president taking 65 percent of the vote.

The second-place finisher was Florida's far-right Gov. Ron DeSantis, who did not attend the gathering this year despite many viewing him as the strongest GOP challenger to Trump in a possible 2024 primary matchup.

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