The Washington Post

Menendez says it would be ‘appalling’ if Cuban government plotted against him

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said in a CNN interview Tuesday that he would not be surprised if the Cuban government plotted against him and called the possibility "appalling" as he urged federal investigators to probe the matter.

The Washington Post's Carol D. Leonnig and Manuel Roig-Franzia reported Monday that Menendez's attorney wrote a letter to the Justice Department asking for an examination of evidence the Cuban government plotted to smear the senator with allegations he partied with underage prostitutes.

Menendez, a Cuban American, wouldn't comment on his lawyer's communications with the Justice Department in the television interview. But he told CNN's Dana Bash the possibility of a Cuban plot to sully his image "is something that should be investigated by the Justice Department and others," adding that it "wouldn't surprise" him if the Cuban government tried to go after him.

"I think it should be pretty appalling that a foreign government would be engaged in trying to affect an election," Menendez said. He added, "If that can happen, I think there are real consequences for our democracy."

When asked he if had proof the Cuban government targeted him, Menendez sought to shift attention to the U.S. federal government, which he said needs to review available evidence in its possession.

Menendez dismissed the possibility that he or his team leaked his lawyer's letter to distract from the investigation into whether he used his position to benefit the interests of a friend and donor.

"I think that's pretty far-fetched idea​," said the senator.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Next Story
Sebastian Payne · July 8, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.