Brazil President Endorsed Businessman’s Bribes in Secret Tape, Newspaper Says

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Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported Wednesday night that a food company executive secretly recorded President Michel Temer endorsing the payment of so-called hush money to a politician now jailed for corruption.

According to the New York Times, O Globo reported that brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, who control the family-owned meat giant JBS, recorded Temer in March as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors in connection with the ongoing investigation into corruption at state-owned oil giant Petrobras.

Mr. Batista was carrying a hidden recording device, the newspaper reported. On the recording, Mr. Batista said he had been paying hush money to Eduardo Cunha — the former speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress, who has been jailed since last year for his role in the graft scheme — and Lúcio Funaro, who also figured in the Cunha case.

Mr. Temer told Mr. Batista that he would have to keep up the payments, the newspaper said. Then he told Mr. Batista to contact a lawmaker from Mr. Temer’s party about a problem J&F was having at a power plant it owned. Another company executive was filmed handing over a first payment, about $143,000, to the lawmaker.

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