This Sunday Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro threatened to beat a journalist who asked him about his wife’s alleged participation in a corruption scheme, according to a Telesur coverage.
“I want to beat your mouth,” Bolsonaro replied to a question from a journalist from the newspaper O Globo who questioned him about press reports involving his wife, Michelle Bolsonaro, and Fabricio Queiroz, a former adviser to his son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro.
Presidente @jairbolsonaro, por que sua esposa Michelle recebeu R$ 89 mil de Fabrício Queiroz?
— Nacho Lemus (@LemusteleSUR) August 23, 2020
A group of reporters present questioned whether the ultra-right president’s statement was addressed to the entire press or only to the one asking the question. “Is it a threat, President?” they asked. The president did not respond and left the place.
After the threat, the Brazilian media O Globo stated that it “repudiates the aggression of President Jair Bolsonaro on a journalist from the newspaper who was just exercising his duties.”
— Jornal O Globo (@JornalOGlobo) August 23, 2020
“Such intimidation shows that Jair Bolsonaro disregards the duty of any public servant, no matter the position, to be accountable to the population,” the statement added.
Representatives of opposition political parties and social movements repudiated the president’s attack on media and press freedom.
Bolsonaro perde as estribeiras quando indagado sobre depósitos de Queiroz pra primeira-dama Michelle e ameaça jornalista. Esse é o presidente do Brasil, não suporta a democracia e a liberdade de imprensa e é agressivo quando confrontado com a verdade. https://t.co/2uewb6vw9l
— Gleisi Hoffmann (@gleisi) August 23, 2020
Crusoé magazine reported this month that the former adviser to Jair Bolsonaro’s son, Fabrício Queiroz, deposited 21 checks for 72,000 reais (about $ 22,000 at the 2016 exchange rate) to the current first lady between 2011 and 2016.
Queiroz and Flavio Bolsonaro are under investigation for the alleged diversion of salaries of officials of the president’s son during his tenure as regional deputy in Rio de Janeiro.
Featured image: Photo courtesy of “O Globo”.