Brazil's scandal-plagued labor minister said Wednesday that his remarks on the previous day were not directed against President Dilma Rousseff, but against slander instead.
Carlos Lupi said he was not challenging the president, but rather challenging the "wave of denouncements" in the country.
"I am challenging those who use lies as an instrument to tarnish people's reputations," he said.
The minister said the scandal surrounding him was over, and that he was not involved in any wrongdoing and, because of that, he had no fear of upcoming investigations.
Lupi said there was no evidence that the Labor Ministry's high-level employees were involved in bribery, as alleged by this week's edition of the news magazine Veja.
The assistant accused of corruption by the magazine was suspended in the name of transparency, he said.
However, Lupi admitted it was possible that ministry employees from lower levels were involved in irregularities.
"If some twentieth-level worker did something wrong, it's jail for them," he said.
Lupi is one of the seven cabinet members who served the previous administration. He has headed the Labor Ministry since 2007.
In the past 10 months, six of President Rousseff's ministers have resigned after five of them were accused of corruption.
On Tuesday, Lupi said it would "take a bullet" to make him leave his post.