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Expletive-filled footage of Brazil’s far-right president complaining about not being able to get intelligence from the police has been released by the country’s Supreme Court.
Jair Bolsonaro vows, in the clip, that he will not let his friends and family get “screwed” because he is unable to overhaul law enforcement officials.
The populist president, who has faced sustained criticism over his approach to the coronavirus emergency as Brazil’s death toll surges to over 20,000, is at the centre of a criminal investigation into claims he sought to replace top federal police officials.
Sergio Moro, the ex Justice Minister, alleges Mr Bolsonaro sacked the federal police chief as he wanted someone in the position who would feed him police intelligence.
Mr Moro, who headed up a major corruption clampdown, handed in his notice last month after Mr Bolsonaro sacked the federal police director-general without conferring with him.
“I’ve tried to change our security people in Rio de Janeiro officially, and I wasn’t able to. That’s over. I won’t wait for my family or my friends to get screwed,” Mr Bolsonaro says in the video of a cabinet meeting from last month which surfaced on Friday.
In the video which made the Supreme Court website crash due to people’s demand to watch it, he adds: “If you can’t change (the official), change his boss. You can’t change the boss? Change the minister. End of story. We’re not kidding around”.
Mr Bolsonaro’s sons, Flavio Bolsonaro and Carlos Bolsonaro, are currently being investigated over allegations of misconduct. They both deny the claims.
The president, who is famed for making offensive, incendiary, off-the-cuff comments about women, black people and sexual minorities, has insisted he was discussing his own security personnel rather than the police in the video clip.
He claimed there was “no indication of interference in the federal police” in a Facebook post.