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Brazil's President Threatens to Punch Journalist in the Face

FILE - Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, who is infected with COVID-19, wears a protective face mask as he waves to supporters outside his official residence the Alvorada Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, July 20, 2020.

Brazil's president threatened Sunday to punch a reporter in the face for asking about his wife’s bank deposits, allegedly linked to a corruption scheme involving an aide to their senator son.

"I want to punch you in the face, OK?" the right-wing Bolsonaro was heard replying to the reporter from O Globo newspaper in an audio recording released by the daily.

The president did not take any follow-up questions from other journalists after the exchange and left without making further comments.

The O Globo reporter was referring to an article published earlier this month in the magazine Crusoe that linked First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro to retired police officer Fabrício Queiroz, a friend of the president, and former adviser to their now senator son Flavio Bolsonaro.

According to the magazine, Queiroz deposited about $13,000 in checks from government employees in the first lady's account between 2011 and 2016.

Queiroz was an aide to younger Bolsonaro when he was a Rio de Janeiro state legislator, before his father became president in January 2019. During and after the campaign Jair Bolsonaro has promised not to tolerate corruption.

While both Queiroz and Flavio Bolsonaro are being investigated, Queiroz is under arrest in connection with bank deposits of $213,500 made at the time.