Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) told MSNBC on Wednesday that he hasn't been interviewed by the FBI or a grand jury, which is reportedly investigating the senator's work on behalf of Salomon Melgen, a wealthy campaign donor and friend.
"And the reality is, is look, we welcome any review by any entity," Menendez said. "Because at the end of the day, we know that review will prove that we have acted appropriately at all times. What we don't know in this process is who was behind the money and the smears that they tried to level. We do know that there were people behind it. We do know that Republican operatives were at play, by a whole host of press accounts. We'd love to know who was behind that."
MSNBC host Chuck Todd pressed Menendez on his relationship with Melgen and asked if he can say with certainty that he never advocated on behalf of his friend beyond what he would do for any other constituent.
"We have all types of constituents, both in New Jersey and from across the country, who bring us issues," Menendez said. "And we look at those issues, we make a determination as to whether or not those issues have legitimacy, and then we make a decision to pursue it ourselves if we think the issue has legitimacy. And in this case, as in every other case, that's the road that we followed. It's the same road for everyone. And as I say, I'm, you know, happy to see our actions reviewed, because, at the end of the day, they were totally appropriate."
The FBI has probed Menendez's dealings with Melgen over a port security contract in the Dominican Republic, according to the Washington Post. In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, Melgen acknowledged that he has discussed the port security contract with Menendez, adding that there was no foul play.
The Post also reported that the FBI has investigated allegations that Menendez solicited prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. Menendez has denied the allegations, and the Post's report, published in mid-February, said there was no evidence to support the claims.