Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro threatened to punch a journalist from the ‘Or Balloon’ newspaper in the face on Sunday, during a visit to a cathedral in Brasilia.
Bolsonaro, who has come under pressure from his handling of the Coronavirus outbreak in Brazil, was heard telling the journalist directly, “The desire I have is to fill your mouth with punches”.
The comment came after Bolsonaro was questioned about suspicious bank deposits that have been made into the account of first lady Michelle Bolsonaro, a situation that threatens to embroil the Brazilian leader in yet another scandal.
The President of The National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) in Brazil, Marcelo Rech said in a statement; “It is unfortunate that once again the president reacts aggressively and out of temper to a question from a journalist. This attitude does not contribute to the democratic environment and freedom of the press”.
Paulo Jeronimo, President of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI), said that Bolsonaro showed an; “unacceptable absence of education but also an attempt to intimidate the press”, and that he had “shocked the country with his rude behaviour.”
The unacceptable outburst by Bolsonaro isn’t the first time that the President of Brazil has taken aim at journalists, with him regularly attempting to discredit personally, those that report matters that are embarrassing to him.