Bolsonaro’s remark was recorded on audio by Brazil daily newspaper O Globo after one of its reporters asked the president about deposits made to the bank account of his wife, First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, by one of his son’s former aides, Reuters reported.
“I want to punch you in the face, OK?” Bolsonaro replied to the reporter, according to audio released by the paper.
Earlier this month, local media reported Fabricio Queiroz, a former aide to Bolsonaro’s eldest son, now Sen. Flavio Bolsonaro, deposited 72,000 Brazilian reais ($12,812) into the first lady’s bank account between 2011 and 2018. The younger Bolsonaro had been a state legislator at the time.
Queiroz has been under house arrest while an investigation is ongoing into bank deposits of 1.2 million reais ($213,500) made during that time.
The accusations have been problematic for the elder Bolsonaro, who was elected on an anti-crime-and-corruption platform.
In December, Bolsonaro blasted a journalist and said he has a “homosexual’s face” over questions about the corruption allegations involving his son during a heated news conference.
Following Bolsonaro’s latest remark, a social media campaign saw journalists and citizens tweet the reporter’s question at the president.
Bolsonaro is already facing criticism for downplaying the coronavirus pandemic, having called COVID-19 a “little flu” and pushing for reopening the country’s economy.
Brazil has the second-highest death toll and number of infections in the world behind the United States, with at least 114,744 fatalities and more than 3,605,700 confirmed cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.