Social media users, particularly conservatives, widely mocked New Jersey’s Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez after he claimed in the face of federal corruption charges that the hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash in his home was from his personal back account.
“For 30 years I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba,” Menendez said during a press conference on Monday.
Social media users reacted with skepticism that the $480,000 in cash at the senator’s home found during a search warrant earlier this year — much of it stuffed into envelopes and hidden in clothing, closets and a safe — was simply from his personal savings account.
Additionally, bars of gold were found in his home and over $70,000 in cash was found in his wife’s safe deposit box. Some of the envelopes of money in the home contained the fingerprints and/or DNA of a business associate or his driver, according to the indictment.
“I knew there was an explanation that made total sense,” former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Bob Menendez, the Senator from New Jersey, would have you believe he has so little faith in the United States government he just needs to keep more than $400,000 in cash and a few gold bars around the house in case of sudden government confiscation,” Washington Post contributor Helaine Olen posted on X.
“Bob Menendez was born in New York City in 1954, five years *BEFORE* the revolution,” historian Davis Austin Walsh posted on X. “His dad was a carpenter and his mom a seamstress, so I doubt they were sitting on many assets in Cuba when Castro came to power. Basically he’s so corrupt he’s stolen-valoring Batista loyalists.”
“I aspire to this level of shamelessness,” political commentator Saagar Enjeti posted on X.
Menendez’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Menendez has remained defiant amid calls from prominent Democrats to resign.
“I firmly believe that when all the facts are presented, not only will I be exonerated, but I still will be New Jersey’s senior senator,” Menendez said during Monday’s press conference, falling short of formally announcing a re-election bid.
“The court of public opinion is no substitute for our revered justice system. We cannot set aside the presumption of innocence for political expediency when the harm is irrevocable.”
The press conference at Hudson County Community College in Union City, New Jersey, marks the senator’s first public appearance since his federal indictment was unsealed in the Southern District of New York on Friday, charging Menendez, his wife, Nadine, and New Jersey businessmen Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes in participating in a yearslong bribery scheme.
Since 2018, as alleged by federal prosecutors, the three businessmen collectively paid hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes — including cash, gold, a Mercedes-Benz and other things of value — in exchange for Menendez agreeing to use his power and influence to protect and enrich them and to benefit the government of Egypt.
Fox News Digital’s Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.