Menendez Inconsistent on Visits to Donor's Dominican Republic Villa

Menendez Inconsistent on Visits to Donor's Dominican Republic Villa

In an interview with Univision on Sunday, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez offered an inconsistency with regard to how frequently he visits Democratic Party mega-donor Dr. Salomon Melgen’s private Dominican Republic villas.

Univision’s Lourdes Meluzá asked Menendez at the end of the interview if he visits “Dr. Melgen’s house in the Dominican Republic often.”

Menendez didn’t answer the question directly. “I have visited the Dominican Republic,” the embattled New Jersey senator instead responded. “That’s clear. We have never, never denied that.”

“But do you go frequently?” Meluzá followed up.

“No, no, no,” Menendez replied. “If we go frequently, it depends on what time.”

“In addition to these trips?” Meluzá pressed on. 

“It’s a beautiful country, OK,” Menendez answered.

Menendez’s responses to Meluzá’s questions were much different than what the senator’s chief of staff Dan O’Brien told NBC News’ Michael Isikoff a couple weeks ago. O’Brien told Isikoff that Menendez visits Melgen’s villa in the Dominican Republic “about twice a year” and has done so for the past several years.

The senator’s staff told Isikoff then that they conducted an “exhaustive review of Menendez’s schedule.” Since that January 30 article though, Menendez and his staff have refused to publicly release those travel records.