Brazil President Bolsonaro threatens to punch reporter in the mouth

WION Web Team
Brasilia, Brazil Published: Aug 24, 2020, 07:19 AM(IST)

Jair Bolsonaro Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The O Globo reporter asked about a report in the magazine Crusoe linking First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro to a retired police officer. Fabrício Queiroz was a friend of the president, and former adviser to her son Flavio Bolsonaro, who is now a senator.

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro threatened to punch a reporter repeatedly in the mouth when he was asked about his wife's links to an alleged corruption scheme.

"I so want to pound your mouth with punches," the far-right president said when a reporter from O Globo, posed the question on Sunday.

The reporter met Bolsonaro after his regular Sunday visit to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasilia. The president ignored protests from other journalists after the remarks and left without making further comments.

The O Globo reporter asked about a report in the magazine Crusoe linking First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro to a retired police officer. Fabrício Queiroz was a friend of the president, and former adviser to her son Flavio Bolsonaro, who is now a senator.

Queiroz and Flavio Bolsonaro are under investigation for a scheme that allegedly swindled pay from government employees when the younger Bolsonaro was a regional lawmaker in Rio de Janeiro, and before Jair Bolsonaro became president in January 2019.

According to the magazine, Queiroz deposited funds in Michelle Bolsonaro's bank account between 2011 and 2016.

Soon after the president's outburst, the publication issued a statement repudiating his "aggression ... towards a journalist from our newspaper that was carrying out his job in a professional manner."

Such intimidation "shows that Jair Bolsonaro does not acknowledge the duty of a public servant ... to be accountable to the public."

The first lady has so far said nothing about the case.

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