Brazil Businessmen Cheer Bolsonaro's Chief of Staff, Jeer Press

(Bloomberg) -- Even in a religious country like Brazil, it’s not everyday you hear Bible passages at a business event.

Incoming Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni began a presentation to about 350 businessmen at the Four Seasons hotel in Sao Paulo by hailing President-elect Jair Bolsonaro -- whose middle name is Messias, or Messiah -- as a man chosen to bring Brazil back from the brink. His speech included faith and family as well as investments and fiscal austerity.

Brazil Businessmen Cheer Bolsonaro's Chief of Staff, Jeer Press

“God lifted the most unlikely of men to govern us,” he said, before citing a Bible verse Bolsonaro himself used during the campaign. “‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ -- What was Brazil’s truth four years ago?”

In one of his first public events in Brazil’s financial center since the October election, Lorenzoni highlighted the country badly needs investments, reassured investors will have a solid legal framework and defended cutting red tape for those who want to do business. Questions from businessmen in attendance focused on reforms and on how the government is building its base in Congress, seen by investors as one of the main challenges for Bolsonaro. The moderator said there were also questions on religiousness, but there was no time to answer them.

Some of the more enthusiastic support Lorenzoni got was when he criticized the press, asking for a truce in the name of Brazil and that journalists respect the will of the people. At the usual scrum of reporters after his speech, the politician was joined by some members of the audience, who peppered journalists with criticism as questions were being asked -- which included some about allegations that Lorenzoni received illegal campaign donations.

He reiterated his innocence before walking away as businessmen cheered him on, asking the incoming chief of staff for selfies.

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