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Macron: Brazil President 'Incredibly' Rude to My Wife

French leader accuses Jair Bolsonaro of making 'disrespectful comment' about Brigitte
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2019 10:19 AM CDT
First lady Melania Trump, right, and French first lady Brigitte Macron talk at the Cote des Basques beach during the G7 summit, in Biarritz, southwestern France, Monday Aug. 26 2019.   (Julien de Rosa/Pool via AP)
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(Newser) – French President Emmanuel Macron and Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro have been publicly sniping over the wildfires in the Amazon. Now things have turned personal. On Monday, Macron accused Bolsonaro of insulting his wife, Brigitte. "For him to have made incredibly disrespectful comments about my spouse—what can I say to you?" Macron said during a G7 news conference, per the Washington Post. "It is sad. It is sad. But it is sad first of all for him and the Brazilian people." As the Guardian explains, the controversy stems from an online post (it's not in English) made by one of Bolsonaro's supporters suggesting that Bolsonaro's wife was more attractive than Macron's. Bolsonaro himself then seemed to agree, commenting, "Do not humiliate the guy, ha ha."

Big age differences are at play. Macron is 41, and France24 has Brigitte's age as 66. Bolsonaro, meanwhile, is 64, and his wife, Michelle, is 37. “I think Brazilian women will probably be ashamed to read that from their president," said Macron. "I think that Brazilians, who are a great people, will probably be ashamed to see this behavior." He also suggested he wouldn't mind seeing a change in leadership in Brazil, or a least a change in personality from Bolsonaro. "As I feel friendship and respect towards the Brazilian people, I hope that they will very soon have a president who behaves in the right way.” (Bolsonaro's pro-development policies are being blamed for the widespread Amazon fires.)

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