Ex-Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Rallies Thousands In São Paulo, Denies Coup Try

Former President Jair Bolsonaro addresses supporters during a rally in Sao Paulo., Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. Bolsonaro and some of his former top aides are under investigation into allegations they attempted plotted a coup to remove his successor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is denying allegations he had any connection to riots that occurred  on the Jan. 8, 2023, in São Paulo, when thousands of his supporters stormed the country’s congress last year.

During a Sunday night speech to thousands of his supporters, the embattled former Brazilian chief executive said he was a victim of political persecution, and accusations he was part of plotting a coup to overthrow his successor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, were a “lie.”

The 68-year-old former president’s comments stem from the ongoing police investigation that is probing whether the former president incited a failed coup after he lost the 2022 election by a sliver of the national vote.