Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who won a Pulitzer-prize for his reporting on National Security Agency (NSA) spying revealed by Edward Snowden, got into scuffle with a right-wing columnist on a Brazilian radio show.
After publishing a series of articles questioning the South American country’s largest-ever corruption investigation, the US journalist was asked to talk about them on the Jovem Pan radio station, alongside Augusto Nunes, a columnist for Veja magazine.
Mr Nunes had previously suggested that a family judge should look into taking away the children Mr Greenwald has adopted with his husband David Miranda, a Brazilian congressman.
As the debate began, he again suggested that the couple were not looking after theiir children properly.
“Who’s going to take care of the kids?” he asked.
"Coward," Mr Greenwald replied, before leaning in closer and pointing a finger. “You are a coward.”
The pair then lock hands before Nunes slaps Greenwald in the face.
Station staff step in to split the pair.
In a video posted to Twitter after the incident, Mr Greenwald said that Mr Nunes' comments were “obviously partially homophobic”.
He added that he called Mr Nunes a “coward” for targeting only one family of “millions” whose parents work.
Regarding the physical attack I received from the far-right, pro-Bolsonaro journalist @augustosnunes, and how Brazil's movement is *cheering* it because they crave violence in lieu of politics and debate: pic.twitter.com/doq9iBR66T— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)November 7, 2019
Mr Nunes later said in a statement to local media that he regretted the incident had occurred.
“I ask listeners, viewers and readers not to turn any political disagreements into physical acts, even indignation provoked by unacceptable rude behaviour," he said.
Mr Greenwald, who lives in Brazil, has been criticised for series of reports for his website The Intercept, which alleged that high profile judge Sergio Moro, collaborated with a prosecutor during the high profile corruption allegation known as "Operation Car Wash".
It led to the jailing of hundreds of executives, politicians and middlemen, including former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, known as "Lula", who Mr Moro sentenced to nine-years in 2017 after ruling that he received bribes from a construction company who renovated a flat for him.
It forced Lula to withdraw from the presidential race which was eventually won by Brazil's far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.
Mr Greenwald's reports were based on leaked mobile phone messages, which led to criticism from right-wing commentators, who have accused him of phone hacking.
Additional reporting by Associated Press