It looks like the wild allegations regarding New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez and his supposed trysts with Dominican prostitutes have taken yet another interesting twist: The site that published the initial story months ago now suggests the Washington Post — which came out yesterday and said one of the prostitutes has recanted her sex claims — got the wrong woman.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Nexis de los Santos Santana, 23, told Dominican authorities in an affidavit that she was paid to help frame the U.S. senator.
The Post explains that she was one of two women who appeared in a video published last year claiming that the senator had paid and her colleague for their “services.”
“The woman said a local lawyer had approached her and a fellow escort and asked them [to] help frame Menendez and a top donor, Salomon Melgen, according to affidavits obtained by The Post,” the report adds.
So, yes, the alleged prostitute, according to the Post’s report, claims she was paid to lie.
However, this is where it gets interesting. The Daily Caller, the site that published the aforementioned video, says the Post got the wrong prostitute.
Here’s TheDC’s statement:
The Washington Post falsely reported a story yesterday claiming our source had recanted her statement, without contacting The Daily Caller for comment before posting. In reality, the prostitute in the Post’s story does not appear to be one of the women we interviewed in 2012. Details provided by the prostitute identified as Ms. Santana in the Post story conflict with the taped interviews The Daily Caller posted on November 1, including the mention of a person whose name would not come to light for months afterward. In addition, Melanio Figueroa, the attorney for TheDC’s sources, has said the Post’s allegations are fabricated and that the affidavit is false. The Post would not provide TheDC with a copy of the affidavit, despite our request. We stand by our reporting.
Back to you, Washington Post:
The Post and the Daily Caller are quite clearly talking past each other on this Menendez stuff. From yesterday’s Post story: “Daily Caller Editor Tucker Carlson did not reply to phone calls and e-mails requesting comment.” From the Daily Caller response piece: “Post reporter Carol D. Leonnig did not respond to requests for comment Monday night, and did not provide TheDC with a copy of the affidavit.” (Leonnig was unavailable for comment for this piece; we’ll update once we connect).
There’ll be a great deal more to come on this, both at the Erik Wemple Blog and elsewhere. Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the nonprofit that originally fielded the tipster’s charges, says, “These latest revelations raise even more questions about what’s really going on. It’s impossible to know what’s true and hopefully law enforcement can get to the bottom of this.”
It’s worth noting in this back-and-forth between the two news organizations that only the editors at TheDC have actually seen the faces of the women in the video.
Wild and crazy.
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