Brazillian President Threatens Journalist Over Corruption Question

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has sparked criticism after threatening to punch a reporter in the face.

While visiting the Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasilia on Sunday, Bolsonaro was met by a group of journalists outside. The journalists pressed him on corruption allegations against him and his family.

“President Bolsonaro, why did your wife Michelle receive [$15,800] from Fabrício Queiroz?” asked an O Globo reporter.

“I feel like punching you in your mouth, okay?” he replied.

Bolsonaro’s family was thrown into the spotlight again after an article published in Brazilian magazine Crusóe claimed that Fabrício Queiroz, the former aide to Bolsonaro’s eldest son, Flávio Bolsonaro, transferred around 72,000 Brazilian reals ($12,800) in checks to Michelle Bolsonaro between 2011 and 2016.

Authorities have since launched a probe over concerns of an embezzlement scheme and money laundering during Flávio’s time in the state legislature from 2003-2019. Queiroz worked as a driver for Flávio, who is now a senator.

Queiroz remains under house arrest, pending the outcome of the investigation.

During an event on Monday titled “Defeating COVID-19,” Bolsonaro continued his blistering attack on the media.

“That history of an athlete, the press feasted on it, but when (COVID-19) gets one of you wimps, your chance of surviving is quite a bit lower,” Bolsonaro told reporters according to Reuters. “You only know how to do evil, to use a pen largely for evil. Your chance of surviving is quite a bit lower.”

In recent months, the media has heavily scruitinized Bolsonaro for his lax approach to the global pandemic and his strong stance on putting the economy first.

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