The publicist for Brazil President Michel Temer alleged that the largest meatpacking group in the country paid for a campaign to bring forward a coup against Dilma Rousseff.
Elsinho Mouco said JBS, the world's largest meatpacking company, had funded a campaign involving social media to help propel Temer, then vice president, to the office of the presidency.
"In 2016, employers, corporations, many people, wanted Dilma's impeachment, some hired stages and set up for events, others paid for flags, press offices, there were people who bought the Brazilian team's shirt, Joesley was on that list and offered to work in digital networks," Mouco said.
Mouco, Temer's publicist for the past 15 years, told O Estado de Sao Paulo that he received US$100,000 from Joesley Batista, owner of the JBS group.
Batista has previously testified that he paid bribes for US$10 million to choose the former head of the lower chamber, Eduardo Cunha, widely recognized as the chief mastermind behind the parliamentary coup against Rousseff. Cunha is currently serving over 15 years in prison for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. According to Batista, Temer asked him to develop a project to help him improve his images in social media.
"He called me and to my surprise, he started calling Dilma ungrateful, rude and incompetent, we have to get her out, he told me," Mouco said.
This comes a month after President Temer admitted in a TV interview that Cunha opened the impeachment process against Rousseff because her party did not protect him from an investigation over corruption charges.
Last week, Brazil federal police arrested Rodrigo Rocha Loures, a lawmaker and former aide to the president, and he admitted to accepting bribes from JBS, and that the funds were intended for Temer.
Batista and the JBS group allege they have paid legal and illegal money to more than 1,800 political campaigns in the country.
According to Mouco, Batista expressed his willingness to "help" those who wanted to oust Russeff and offered to pay for a series of actions on social networks that were allegedly going to be to paid by Temer's party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party.