Brazil’s Bolsonaro denies proposing coup to military leaders

FILE – Former President Jair Bolsonaro talks to reporters after arriving at the airport in Brasilia, Brazil, Friday, June 30, 2023. Bolsonaro denied on Thursday, Sept. 21, a report claiming he had consulted top military leaders to stage a coup and stop his successor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from taking office in January.(AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro denied a report Thursday claiming he consulted with top military leaders on staging a coup to stop Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from assuming the presidency last January.

Three members of Bolsonaro’s legal team said in a statement posted on social media channels that the far-right leader “never took any measure that conflicted the boundaries and assurances established by the constitution.”

Earlier in the day, the newspaper O Globo reported that a former Bolsonaro aide said in plea bargain testimony that the then president talked with the commanders of Brazil’s army, navy and air force about overthrowing the results of last year’s election won by Lula.

The newspaper did not identify the sources for its story.

Bolsonaro’s legal team also said that he did not take any action that violated hte law during his 2019-2022 administration.

Bolsonaro has been targeted by several investigations since he left office, including one looking into his whether he played any role in his supporters rioting in the capital of Brasilia and breaking into government buildings last Jan. 8.

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