Brazil President Michel Temer Says Graft Claims Are ‘Lies’

Reed Johnson & Luciana Magalhaes (with Paulo Sotero contributing) – The Wall Street Journal, 06/16/2016

SÃO PAULO—Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer denounced as “irresponsible lies” allegations that he helped broker illegal campaign contributions as part of a bribes-for-contracts scheme centered on state oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA, even as a third cabinet minister resigned over similar charges.

In a brief Thursday morning TV address, Mr. Temer denied the claims made in plea-bargain testimony by Sergio Machado, former head of Petrobras Transporte SA, or Transpetro, a fuel-transportation and logistics subsidiary.

Mr. Machado has testified that in 2012 he organized, at Mr. Temer’s request, a donation of 1.5 million reais (about $432,000) from a construction firm to Mr. Temer’s political party, in exchange for Transpetro contracts. Mr. Temer dismissed the accusations as “frivolousness.”

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