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Expletive-filled video released of ‘proud homophobe’ and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro in corruption investigation

Lily Wakefield May 23, 2020
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a press conference amidst the coronavirus (COVID - 19) pandemic.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a press conference amidst the coronavirus pandemic. (Andressa Anholete / Getty)

Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the release of an expletive-filled video of president and “proud homophobe” Jair Bolsonaro as part of a corruption investigation.

When Brazil’s former justice minister Sergio Moro resigned last month, he claimed that Bolsonaro had been trying to illegally interfere with criminal investigations into his sons.

Moro told investigators that the homophobic president was trying to replace senior federal police officials, including the head of Brazil’s police agency, with people who would provide him with intelligence reports.

One of Bolsonaro’s sons, Flavio Bolsonaro, is a federal senator and has been accused of embezzlement and money laundering.

Another, Carlos Bolsonaro, is a city council member in Rio de Janeiro who was allegedly running a criminal disinformation campaign to discredit his critics.

On Friday, May 22, a two-hour video of a cabinet meeting, with some portions redacted, was released by the Brazil’s Supreme Court.

According to The Guardian, the video shows Bolsonaro saying: “I already tried to change our security in Rio de Janeiro and I couldn’t. That is over. I’m not going to wait for [the federal police] to f**k my family and friends just for s**ts and giggles.”

Referring to his inability to get information from police, he added: “You can’t work like that. It’s difficult. That’s why I will interfere. Period.”

The video also shows environment minister Ricardo Salles suggesting that the government could deregulate environmental policy while the media is distracted by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the BBC, people in Brazil were so eager to watch the video when it was released that the Supreme Court website crashed.

Jair Bolsonaro has denied interfering in police investigations.

Responding to the release of the video, Jair Bolsonaro, who previously called himself a “proud homophobe” and has said he would rather have dead son than a gay one, has denied any wrongdoing, and said his words were misinterpreted.

He insisted that he was not referring to federal police officials, but was discussing his own personal security detail. However, he had recently replaced the head of his personal security, before the cabinet meeting took place.

Bolsonaro’s popularity has been waning recently, partly due to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Brazilian leader downplayed coronavirus as “fear-mongering” in March, said he was too macho for the virus to affect him and called for an end to regional lockdowns.

Bolsonaro, 65, said: “With my history as an athlete, if I were infected with the virus I would have no reason to worry.

“I would feel nothing, or it would be at most just a little flu.”

More: Brazil, Carlos Bolsonaro, Coronavirus, corruption, Flavio Bolsonaro, Jair Bolsonaro, police, sons, supreme court, video

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