Report: Trump launching global effort to decriminalize homosexuality

In this image, a picture of Donald Trump on a phone is held in front of a rainbow pride flag.
Photo: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Led by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the Trump administration is launching a new push to decriminalize homosexuality around the globe, beginning Tuesday evening with a strategy dinner in Berlin with LGBTQ activists, NBC News' Josh Lederman reports.

The big picture: The effort is being framed as a means of "denouncing Iran over its human rights record," an issue that Trump officials hope will unite Europe against the administration's top adversary. Last year, the Trump administration faced backlash for adopting a policy that denied visas to same-sex domestic partners of U.N. employees and U.S. diplomats, stipulating that visas were only granted to married couples.

Go deeper: Homosexuality still criminalized in much of the world

Jair Bolsonaro dodges questions on his sexist, homophobic history

Jair Bolsonaro looks mad.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro brushed off a series of questions about his history of sexist, homophobic comments in an interview with the Washington Post in Davos, Switzerland, calling them "just playful remarks" and asking how he could have won his election otherwise.

"Do you really believe in printed media? Do you really believe in it blindly? ... I’m not casting any doubt on your media. In Brazil, they’re all one and the same — the newspapers."

The big picture: Bolsonaro has been called the "Trump of the Tropics" for his populist and nationalist views as well as his predilection to attack news outlets for critical coverage and occasionally spread fake news on social media to propagate controversial stances.

Go deeper: WhatsApp bans Brazilian frontrunner Bolsonaro’s son amid fake news fears

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