The award-winning journalist has called Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro a ‘wannabe dictator’ after being threatened with jail time amid a scandal surrounding the nation’s justice minister sparked by Intercept reports.
Amid rumors that Glenn Greenwald could face deportation under a new government decree, Bolsonaro stated that “he will not be kicked out” – but instead might “do jail time in Brazil.” The decree, issued by Justice Minister Sergio Moro, allows summary expulsion of people accused of unconstitutional acts or deemed a danger to the “security of Brazil.”
Bolsonaro said nothing about the charges that could land the reporter in prison. Instead, he attacked Greenwald’s choice of life partner, claiming that the journalist might have engaged in a relationship with a Brazilian citizen only to avoid deportation.
“Trickster, trickster, to avoid such a problem [of deportation], he marries another trickster and adopts a child in Brazil,” Bolsonaro said. “That is the problem we have. He will not leave.”
Greenwald immediately hit back, calling the president a “wannabe dictator” and saying that he “has no power” to order arrests and deportations, especially since the authorities have “nothing” incriminating on him. Greenwald, who married in 2005 and lives with his Brazilian husband and two adopted children in Rio de Janeiro, also mocked Bolsonaro’s remark about his ‘prophetic’ matrimonial plans.
The co-founder of the Intercept has been under pressure ever since it published a series of bombshell reports targeting Moro – a former judge and a close ally of Bolsonaro. Based on a trove of leaked communication logs, the reports alleged that as part of a high-profile anti-corruption probe known as Operation Car Wash, Moro actively worked with a group of Brazilian prosecutors to undermine Brazil’s leftist Workers’ Party and prevent former President Lula de Silva from returning to power, clearing the way for Bolsonaro’s eventual victory last year.
The leaks triggered a scandal that dominated headlines in Brazil for weeks and sparked heated debates in the parliament. Since then, Greenwald says his family has received multiple “grotesque” threats of violence, while authorities reportedly launched an investigation against the journalist.