Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) on Monday denounced allegations that he visited prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, characterizing a Daily Caller report as “smears” based in falsehoods.
“The smears, the smears that right-wing blogs have been pushing since the election,” Mendendez told CNN’s Dana Bash are “totally unsubstatiated. It’s amazing to me that anonymous, faceless indivuduals on a website can drive a story in to the mainstream. Bottom-line, all of those smears are absoutely false.”
Mendendez also defended his relationship with Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida friend and donor, after failing to disclose or pay for two roundtrip flights provided by Melgen. Menendez has since reimbursed Melgen $58,500 for the trips on Jan. 4.
“When it came to my attention I did what was right,” Menendez said. “When it came to my attention I paid for….after the election when I got to look at the allegations…I ultimately came forward. One of those flights I self-reported.”
A woman named as one of the prostitutes visited by Menendez in the Dominican Republic denied earlier Monday that she ever met the embattled Senator or worked as a prostitute.
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at email@example.com.