On Monday, the Washington Post reported that one of the women who claimed on camera that she was paid to have sex with Senator Bob Menendez had admitted that she was actually just paid to lie about it. That seemed to be the end of the Daily Caller’s failed attempt at a November surprise, but late on Monday it published its explanation: The Post allegedly has the wrong prostitute, which would mark the second time the women have been misidentified.
According to the Post, 23-year-old Nexis de los Santos Santana said in an affidavit that she and a friend were recruited by a local lawyer to do an interview with journalists in mid-October, though they were not told that the target was a U.S. senator. The Daily Caller says the Post must have the wrong woman because:
Both women TheDC interviewed said they were 24 years old at the time — not 23 — and neither went by Nexis de los Santos Santana. They spelled out their names and ages on camera, in the presence of Dominican lawyer Melanio Figueroa.
Also, the Post says de los Santos “said she was surreptitiously taped implicating Menendez, Melgen, and prominent Dominican lawyer Vinicio Castillo Selmán, Melgen’s cousin, in hiring prostitutes.” The Daily Caller says the women consented to a webcam interview and never mentioned Castillo Semán. The heavily edited video shows two women with their faces blurred out answering questions being fed to them through an earpiece, so right now there’s nothing but the Daily Caller’s word to back up that claim.
This is the second time that reporters have obtained a denial from a woman who may or may not be a prostitute. Last month, Univision talked to a woman who said she’d never worked as a prostitute or heard of Menendez, but the Miami Herald wondered if the network just “spoke to some poor private country girl and asked her if she was a whore. And then it put it on television.”
In addition to accusing the Post of being unable to track down the correct woman, Tucker Carlson also suggested that the paper printed a lie. He complained on Twitter, “WaPo might have saved itself the embarrassment if they’d bothered to call us before running their stupid piece.” Yet the Post’s story says, “Daily Caller Editor Tucker Carlson did not reply to phone calls and e-mails requesting comment.”
Update: The Washington Post stands by its reporting.