Brazil's embattled president describes compromising recording as 'doctored'

There are also calls for large-scale street protests to demand his resignation.

Demonstrators shout slogans against Brazilian President Michel Temer in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Brazilian President Michel Temer has taken millions of dollars in bribes since 2010, according to testimony released by the Supreme Court. The culture minister, Roberto Freire, resigned Thursday and Brazil's media was rife with reports of other ministers threatening to exit.

If confirmed, the accusations could prove devastating for Mr Temer's crisis-hit administration, though he has vowed to prove his innocence.

"That clandestine recording was manipulated and doctored with (bad) intentions", Mr Temer said at a news conference in the capital, Brasilia.

The court had already released a secretly recorded conversation between Temer and a business executive in which the president is purportedly heard giving his blessing to monthly payments of hush money to former lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha.

The scandal has engulfed Brazilian politics, with a third of Mr Temer's cabinet under investigation for alleged corruption. Folha reported that an expert analysis of the tape found "more than 50 edits" of the recording.

The statement also noted that the person who made the recording, JBS meat-packing company executive Joesley Batista, is under investigation and thus was "taking advantage" of the situation.

He accused Mr Batista of buying "large quantities of dollars to cause chaos on the exchange market" before giving the tape to prosecutors.

Temer's claims about the audio and Batista couldn't be immediately verified.

Rousseff was impeached previous year on a separate allegations of budget irregularities and was replaced with Temer.

Rousseff was eventually ousted for illegally managing the federal budget, bringing Temer, who was her vice president, to power.

Despite growing calls for him to go, Mr Temer repeated that he would not quit.

Cunha was jailed for 15 years in March after a "Car Wash" judge convicted him of bribe-taking.

And Mr Temer did not mention the long list of other allegations against him, nor acknowledge that allies have started to bolt.

Brazil's Michel Temer was to address the nation Saturday in his latest attempt to survive bombshell allegations of obstruction of justice.

Temer's conservative government has angered millions of Brazilians with its ambitious austerity reforms, which include the planned raising of the retirement age to fix the country's unaffordable pension system.

Temer has so far rejected mounting calls for his resignation and is scrambling to keep together his governing alliance to avoid the possibility of impeachment.

A Supreme Court justice approved the investigation on Thursday based on plea-bargain testimony and an audio recording in which Temer allegedly conspired to obstruct justice with Joesley Batista, chairman of the world's largest meatpacker, JBS SA, according to a report in the O Globo newspaper.

It was, however, just one piece of evidence Batista has offered prosecutors, with more to be released soon.

Stock prices and Brazil's currency were pummeled as investors digested the allegation first reported by the newspaper Globo late Wednesday.

Janot accused Temer and Sen.

Mr Janot says Mr Temer and Senator Aecio Neves have tried to derail the three-year-old "Car Wash" investigation into a huge kickback scheme at the state-run oil company Petrobras via legislative means and by influencing police investigators.

With a formal investigation now opened, Mr Janot's next step will be to decide whether his case is strong enough to send it to the lower Chamber of Deputies in Congress.

  • Zachary Reyes