Senator Bob Menendez turns aggressive over question on Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist manifesto
The aggressive response was aimed at the Daily Caller’s Capitol Hill reporter, Henry Rodgers, who approached the Democratic senator at a subway station and asked him if he supported the controversial legislative proposal.
Menendez (D-NJ) refused to answer the question and instead asked where Rodgers worked.
Rodgers told Menendez he worked for the Daily Caller and the Democrat responded by calling the news outlet “trash,” saying he would not answer any questions, and threatened to call Capitol Police.
According to reports, tensions quickly rose when an intern who was with Rodgers asked a follow-up question.
“Not interested. I have nothing to say to the Daily Caller. You’re trash. I won’t answer questions to the Daily Caller, period! You’re trash! Don’t keep harassing me or I’ll call Capitol Police!,” Sen. Bob Menendez told me earlier today when I asked about the Green New Deal…
— Henry Rodgers (@henryrodgersdc) February 13, 2019
The reporter followed the tweet with an audio clip from their back-and-forth.
“I am wondering why you won’t answer questions on the Green New Deal?” Rodgers asked.
“I won’t answer questions to the Daily Caller, period! You’re trash,” Menendez responded.
“Why do you think we’re trash, sir?” the reporter followed.
“Don’t keep harassing me anymore or I’ll race to the Capitol Police,” the New Jersey Democrat threatened.
Rodgers told Fox News he had no prior interaction with Menendez and was working on a story that was to include the responses of Senate Democrats regarding the Green New Deal.
Menendez was criticized on social media for threatening to call the police on the reporter.
Not at all OK for a senator to be threatening a credentialed reporter on the Hill. Full stop. https://t.co/4fA95z8x7R
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) February 13, 2019
I was told that any criticism of the press was an unAmerican attack on free speech, though? Or has that standard changed? https://t.co/6C6TEq4XQS
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) February 13, 2019
Waiting for Democrats to shriek that this threat from a U.S. Senator on a journalist is an “assault on the free press” & “a threat to Democracy.” https://t.co/ck7uNvedsK
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) February 13, 2019
Numerous members of Menendez’s office, including his communications director, Tricia Enright, defended the senator and trashed what one described as “gotcha journalism.”
Your boss threatened to call the police on a credentialed member of the press. Is that inaccurate? Is that appropriate behavior? https://t.co/ih8U8gc8SU
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 14, 2019
Guy who works communications for Senator Menendez is VERY concerned about attacks on the press when he’s not busy attacking outlets he doesn’t like. pic.twitter.com/ykw5iTKh30
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) February 14, 2019
Sen. Menendez’s office hasn’t responded to requests for comment.