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Michel Temer: "I Will Not Resign, If They Want to, They Will Have to Bring Me Down"
05/22/2017 - 11h54
Facing the biggest crisis of his administration, President Michel Temer (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party) says his resignation would be an admission of fault and has decided to challenge his opponents. "If they want to, then they have to force me out, because if I resign, that is an admission of guilt."
In an interview with Folha at the Alvorada Palace, Temer says that when he had an off the record meeting with Joesley Batista at his home in March, he was not aware that the CEO was the target of investigation -even though the head of JBS was already target of three Federal Police operations.
Batista secretly recorded the conversation with the president, and used it to negotiate a plea bargain. "I have demonstrated, with relative success, that what the CEO did was trigger a conversation," the president says.
When questioned about his role in the matter, Temer responded: "Ingenuity. It was naïve of me to receive anyone at that point."
|Brazilian President Michel Temer|
Even if the law establishes a record of the meeting, Temer does not believe he is at fault. "It was, let's say, a habit." When asked to comment on his former assessor, Rocha Loures (currently a federal congressman from the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party), who was caught with a suitcase full of money, Temer says they maintained an "institutional relationship." While he did not expressly approve the former aide's attitude, the president defended his character. "Poor fellow, he is good natured. Really good natured."
Translated by SUGHEY RAMIREZ