bob menendez

On the same day he assumed control over one of the most powerful committees in Washington, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) aggressively denied allegations he slept with underage hookers in the Dominican Republic.

In an interview with CNN, the new Senate foreign relations committee chairman called the allegations against him “totally unsubstantiated” and accused “right-wing blogs” of spreading “smears” against him.

“It’s amazing to me that anonymous, nameless, faceless individuals on a website can drive that kind of story into the mainstream,” Menendez told the network. “But that’s what they’ve done successfully. Now, nobody can find them, no one ever met them, nobody ever talked to them, but that’s where we’re at. The bottom line is all of those smears are absolutely false, and that’s the bottom line.”

Last week agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided the West Palm Beach, Florida office of Dr. Salomon Melgen – Mendendez’ traveling companion who owes the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) more than $11 million in back taxes. According to The Daily Caller, Melgen hired prostitutes (including one who was allegedly 16 years old at the time) to perform sex acts on them at alcohol-soaked orgies in the Dominican Republic.

One of the alleged prostitutes told Univision earlier Monday she had never met Menendez.