Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency was never going to be quiet after a career built on controversy that regularly landed the far-right leader in hot water.
But the Brazilian nationalist still shocked many with his gaffes and outspoken remarks that defined his four-year reign.
The so-called ‘Trump of the Tropics’ is now preparing to bid farewell to power after suffering an election defeat to the left-wing Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Bolsonaro had claimed his rival’s return to power would usher in communism, legalised drugs, abortion and the persecution of churches, and he is yet to concede the vote.
But the incumbent’s Christian conservative administration was widely criticised for its handling of the Covid pandemic and the worst deforestation in the Amazon rainforest in 15 years.
Here, MailOnline gives a rundown of some of his most memorable moments in office.
Bolsonaro walks at Alvorada Palace in Brasilia today in the first image of the president since his election loss
Stabbing during election campaign
Even during his election campaign in 2018, Bolsonaro was no stranger to headlines.
The controversial candidate was leading the polls when he was attacked while being carried shoulder high in the midst of a crowd in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, south east Brazil.
The horrifying moment was caught on several cameras as the assailant struck Bolsonaro in the stomach with a kitchen knife.
The politician was seen collapsing and clutching his stomach in agony and is then rushed to hospital.
Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro is taken on the shoulders of a supporter moments before being stabbed during a campaign rally in Juiz de Fora, Brazil
Jair Bolsonaro reacts after being stabbed during the rally. Police spokesman Flavio Santiago confirmed that his attacker had been arrested
Bolsonaro underwent laparoscopic surgery after being stabbed at a campaign rally according to his advisers
This photo released by the Military Police, shows the knife supposedly used by Adelio Bispo de Oliveira
A group of people try to detain Adelio Bispo de Oliveira (pictured centre), who allegedly stabbed the right-wing presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro
Initially his son Flavio Bolsonaro said the injury had been superficial, however, an hour later he posted another tweet saying the wound was ‘worse than we thought.’
Flavio said the puncture had hit parts of his father’s liver, lung and intestines and he lost a lot of blood.
The attacker was identified as Adelio Bispo de Oliveira who said he was on a ‘mission from God’.
Bispo was found not liable due to his ‘permanent paranoid delusional disorder’, and Bolsonaro was released from hospital a month after the stabbing.
In 2019, Bolsonaro declared that Brazil must not become a ‘gay tourism paradise’, sparking fury.
He said: ‘If you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life.
‘[But] Brazil can’t be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families.’
The city of Rio de Janeiro was once named the best LGBT destination in the world and various Pride events, as well as the famous Carnival, attract millions of people from around the world.
The president previously said he was ‘very proud’ to be homophobic and even once said that he would rather have a dead son than a gay one while also telling openly gay British actor Stephen Fry that ‘Brazilian society doesn’t like homosexuals.’
In another attack, he accused ‘homosexual fundamentalists’ of brainwashing children to ‘become gays and lesbians to satisfy them sexually in the future’.
He also once told a female lawmaker she was too ugly to rape, and said the birth of his daughter, after having four sons, was a ‘moment of weakness.’
And his latest comments have again caused anger in the LGBT community.
Despite contracting Covid, Bolsonaro regularly downplayed the virus and promoted conspiracy theories about the pandemic.
Nearly 700,000 Brazilians died from Covid and many critics point the finger at the president.
But at its outbreak, he asserted that ‘Brazilians never catch anything’ and even claimed they could jump into sewage without getting infected with anything.
He discouraged mask use and falsely suggested that people who got vaccinated against ran the risk of contracting AIDS.
Last year, a six-month inquiry heard devastating witness testimony from experts who said ineffective medicines were used on ‘human guinea pigs.’
Bolsonaro gives a thumbs up after being admitted to hospital with an abdominal problem in January
The 1,200-page report accused Bolsonaro of ‘quackery’ for dismissing the virus as a ‘little flu’ and for delays in ordering vaccines – a vaccine which he refused to take himself because he claimed he had natural immunity.
Charges of ‘homicide’ and ‘genocide’ were even filed against Bolsonaro before they were withdrawn.
He lashed out at vaccines and claimed the Pfizer jab could turn people into crocodiles and also lead to women growing facial hair.
The Brazilian leader said: ‘In the Pfizer contract, it’s very clear: ”We’re not responsible for any side effects.”If you turn into a crocodile, that’s your problem.’
He continued: ‘If you become superhuman, if a woman starts to grow a beard or if a man starts to speak with an effeminate voice, they [Pfizer] won’t have anything to do with it.’
Bolsonaro also once said: ‘Some people say I’m giving a bad example. But to the imbeciles, to the idiots that say this, I tell them I’ve already caught the virus, I have the antibodies, so why get vaccinated?’
He also fired two health ministers during the pandemic, both trained doctors, and replaced them with an active-duty army general.
Fuel price outrage during Queen funeral visit
Bolsonaro used his trip to the UK for the Queen’s funeral last month to share his shock at the price of UK’s petrol.
The Brazilian president stopped at a petrol station in London and posted a video about the cost of fuel.
Standing at a Shell garage in London’s Bayswater Road, Brazil’s controversial president pointed at the electronic sign displaying the 161.9p price for a litre of unleaded.
Standing at a Shell fuel station in London’s Bayswater Road, Brazil’s controversial president pointed at the electronic sign displaying the price of fuel
‘I’m here in London, England, and the price of petrol is £1.61 this is about R $ 9.70 per litre,’ he said
In a video filmed with mobile phone, Bolsonaro said the cost is ‘practically double the average of many Brazilian states’ and also claimed fuel in Brazil is among the cheapest in the world.
‘I’m here in London, England, and the price of petrol is £1.61 this is about R$9.70 per litre,’ he said.
‘Our gasoline is in fact, among the cheapest in the world,’ he claimed.
The video was posted online the night before the Queen’s funeral.
Some on social media criticised Bolsonaro’s claim and said it is not a fair comparison as Brazil’s minimum wage is many times is lower than the UK’s.
Prices in Britain have fallen in recent months from highs of nearly £2 per litre.
Bolsonaro was also accused of using his London trip to be pictured among the world leaders in an attempt to boost his image and use it as a platform for his campaign.
Wrestling with an influencer
Bolsonaro got tangled up with a social media influencer and tried to snatch his cellphone away during his campaign for reelection.
The leader was speaking to supporters and posing for selfies outside Palácio da Alvorada, the presidential residence in the capital city of Brasilia, when Wilker Leão pushed his way through the crowd and confronted him.
Leão used his phone to film himself, repeatedly shouting at the president, calling him a ‘coward,’ ‘bum’ and the ‘darling’ of a pork-barrel faction in Congress.
Bolsonaro initially entered his car, but then reemerged and grabbed Leão’s shirt and forearm while reaching for his phone.
Security guards pulled Leão, a former Army solider away.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro confronted social media influencer Wilker Leão and tried to snatch his cellphone away on Thursday after Leão, a former Army soldier, heckled the far-right leader and called him a ‘coward,’ ‘bum’ and the ‘darling’ of a pork-barrel faction in Congress
Brazil’s President Jail Bolsonaro grabs social media influencer Wilker Leão by the arm in an attempt to take his cellphone during a confrontation in front of the presidential residence in the city of Brasilia on Thursday morning
A journalist from news website G1 published a video of Leão’s comments and the subsequent altercation in which a security guard grabbed the social media figure and tossed him to the ground.
‘Don’t film this, don’t film this,’ Bolsonaro told his supporters as Leão was held by presidential security. ‘It is his right (to protest), but he was being impolite.’
Four minutes later, security allowed Leão to return to the scene and chat with Bolsonaro.
‘You can talk to me as much as you want,’ Bolsonaro told Leão. The two spoke for five minutes about plea bargaining, the budget, tax reform and weapon possession until the president decided to go back to his car and leave.
Bolsonaro and Leão had spoken in the past, including in April when the influencer identified himself as a corporal in the Army reserve.
Leão questioned Bolsonaro about comments he had made in which he said the work of Army corporals and soldiers was limited to cleaning.
‘Stop, stop, stop… Why are you angry?’ Bolsonaro told him. ‘Why did you stay eight years [in the Army] and now you’re complaining?’
The YouTuber replied: ‘I am defending corporals and soldiers who, for example, carry out the armed security of (president), but outside the door they do not have a gun.’
Picking up a dwarf
In the summer of 2020, the Brazilian president mistakenly lifted up a dwarf into the air after mistaking the man for a young boy.
In the summer of 2020, the Brazilian president mistakenly lifted up a dwarf into the air after mistaking the man for a young boy
Bolsonaro was visiting Arcaju, the capital of the northeastern state of Sergipe, where he made the embarrassing gaffe.
Footage shows the leader picking up the masked man while he was flanked by security guards.
A woman in the background is heard asking: ‘Is that a child?’
Bolsonaro then puts him back on the ground and moves away while a crowd continues to throng around him.
Joking around as the Amazon burns
In 2019, huge wildfires ripped through the Amazon, sparking global concern about mass destruction to the ‘lungs of the world’.
But Bolsonaro dismissed their fears, while also claiming the fires were started by activists without evidence.
He ignored Emmanuel Macron’s ‘sensationalism’ after the French president accused him of weakening environmental laws and encouraging deforestation.
Bolsonaro even referred to himself as ‘Captain Chainsaw’ for allowing the demolition of the rainforest.
He was later seen joking around and taking selfies at a ceremony where he received military honours while massive protests gathered over the burning Amazon rainforest.
Bolsonaro tries on a military beret during a ceremony at the same time as fires ripped through the Amazon
Activists demonstrate during a protest against the government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over the fires in the Amazon rainforest, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Aerial picture showing smoke from a 2-kilometre stretch of fire billowing from the Amazon rainforest
He was seen trying on a military beret, posing for a selfie and giving a toothy grin as he received military honors during a ceremony for Soldier Day at the Brazilian Army Headquarters in Brasilia, at the same time as the fires were rampaging.
Bolsonaro described rainforest protections as an obstacle to economic development, sparring with critics who note that the Amazon produces vast amounts of oxygen and is considered crucial in efforts to contain global warming.
Leading politicians, celebrities, environmentalists and even Carrie Johnson warned of the devastating impact of the fires ravaging the rainforest, which produces a fifth of the world’s oxygen.
But Bolsonaro shrugged off criticism over his failure to act, saying the fires were an ‘internal matter’.