Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Threatens to Punch Reporter in the Face

President reacted after being asked about deposits made by ex-policeman in the account of the first lady


President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party) said on Sunday (23) he wanted to attack a reporter for the newspaper O Globo after being asked about the deposits made by former military policeman Fabrício Queiroz in the account of First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro.

During a five-minute visit to vendors at the Cathedral of Brasilia, the journalist asked the president why his son's former adviser Flávio Bolsonaro (Republicanos-RJ) and his wife transferred R$ 89,000 (US$ 16,000) to Michelle's account.

Initially, the president countered by asking about the alleged monthly transfers made by the money changer Dario Messer to the Marinho family, owner of Rede Globo.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro holds a pin of himself outside the Cathedral in Brasília, on August 23, 2020. - Bolsonaro on Sunday threatened to punch a reporter repeatedly in the mouth after being 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. (Photo by Sergio Lima / AFP) - AFP

According to Veja magazine, in a deposition on June 24, Messer said that he had made transfers of dollars in cash to the Marines on several occasions since the 1990s. The family denies any wrongdoing.

After the reporter's insistence on payments to the first lady, Bolsonaro, without looking directly at the reporter, said: "I feel like punching you in your mouth, okay?".

Folha witnessed the episode. The press questioned the president about the speech, but Bolsonaro did not respond.

In a note, the newspaper O Globo repudiated Bolsonaro's conduct. "O Globo repudiates President Jair Bolsonaro's aggression against a newspaper reporter who just performed his role, in a totally professional manner, this Sunday", states the text.

Bolsonaro's threat of aggression against the reporter became a political movement on social media. Opposition parliamentarians, influencers, artists, and anonymous publish the question about Queiroz that bothered the president.

The posts said: "President @jairbolsonaro, why did your wife, Michelle, receive R $ 89,000 from Fabrício Queiroz?"

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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