Navarro Defends Menendez, Blames Wife, Argues ‘Costco Sells Gold Bars’

News & Politics

Faux-conservative ABC News co-host Ana Navarro was back to defending her close friend Democratic Senator Bob Menendez (NJ) from credible allegations of corruption on Friday’s edition of The View. Despite insisting she doesn’t “excuse him,” she was quite busy blaming Menendez’s wife for getting him into the situation that he was in, and seemingly tried to suggest he might have bought the gold bars hidden in his suit pockets at Costco. She also praised Democratic senators for not forcing him out of office.

At least Navarro started off by acknowledging she was not going to be operating with honesty and good faith on the issue. “And look, and every time we talk about this I always want to start by saying, I think I’m biased. I try to be objective but I’ve known Bob Menendez for almost 30 years. I’ve worked with him on countless issues, Cuba, Nicaragua, immigration, Central American free trade,” she admitted.

She immediately followed up by going after the credible allegations against him. “This Menendez that I read about here just does not jive, does not square away with the man I’ve known for all of this time. It’s hard for me to understand all of these facts,” she decried.

One might argue that she admitted to possibly facilitating some of Menendez’s alleged corruption when she bragged: “I’ve went to him with 100 issues with very rich clients, he never ever did anything like this.”

Throughout the segment, Navarro tried to blame Menendez’s wife and argued that she and his other friends didn’t know who the woman was before he married her:

NAVARRO: And I will say this last thing, a lot of his friends, including me, when he saw this case, thought this is not the Bob we know. Who is this woman and how has this happened? I mean, she suddenly showed up like in the middle of COVID saying that she didn’t know he was a senator.

SARA HAINES: At IHOP.

NAVARRO: At an IHOP.

“And I did tell you the first time I read about this case, I think this woman — I think Bob was completely smitten, enamored. He was a lone wolf for a long time. This happened during COVID,” she defended him.

Navarro went on to praise Democratic senators for not forcing her friend out of office, citing the “reservoir of goodwill” Menendez had with them:

And I think part of the reason that he hasn’t been made to resign, that Schumer haven’t forced it, his colleagues haven’t forced it, is because there is a reservoir of goodwill towards him and respect towards him that there wasn’t toward like a George Santos, for example. And also I think it’s because he’s up for re-election now this November. And so, it’s not like he’s got another four years to serve, right? And the case is coming up — is coming up now.

On the flip side, she lashed out at Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman (D) for daring to demand her friend resign. “The difference with John Fetterman is that John Fetterman is new in the Senate. And so, he probably doesn’t have the collegiality and friendship and history with Menendez that most of the others do,” she chided.

Near the end of the segment, Navarro inexplicably proclaimed: “I read that Costco sells gold bars and they’re sold out.” It was unclear if she was suggesting that Menendez bought the gold bars at Costco or that gold bars were readily available thus it didn’t matter. Costco does not sell the 1-kilo bricks stamped “Swiss Bank Corporation” that Menendez squirreled away.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

ABC’s The View
April 19, 2024
11:03:27 a.m. Eastern

(…)

ANA NAVARRO: His trial begins in a couple of weeks, I think, in two or three weeks. And look, and every time we talk about this I always want to start by saying, I think I’m biased. I try to be objective but I’ve known Bob Menendez for almost 30 years. I’ve worked with him on countless issues, Cuba, Nicaragua, immigration, Central American free trade.

This Menendez that I read about here just does not jive, does not square away with the man I’ve known for all of this time. It’s hard for me to understand all of these facts. I’ve went to him with 100 issues with very rich clients, he never ever did anything like this.

And I will say this, and I don’t excuse him, I don’t justify him because Bob is one of the smartest people in Congress. It is a low bar but he really is one of the smartest people that I know, that I’ve worked with Congress.

I think there needs to be more regulation of family members lobbying because it’s not just Bob Menendez’s wife, it’s siblings, it’s spouses, it’s all of this thing. And they do have an advantage that other people don’t have and a lot of lobbying firms have them on the firm and they don’t even work. They don’t even show up. It’s just have the names.

The people of New Jersey are going to have a say on this. Bob has not said if he’s running again?

JOY BEHAR: Is he running again?

NAVARRO: He’s not running as a Democrat. He hasn’t said if he’s running as an independent.

And I will say this last thing, a lot of his friends, including me, when he saw this case, thought this is not the Bob we know. Who is this woman and how has this happened? I mean, she suddenly showed up like in the middle of COVID saying that she didn’t know he was a senator.

SARA HAINES: At IHOP.

NAVARRO: At an IHOP.

(…)

11:07:06 a.m. Eastern

ALYSSA FARAH GRIFFIN: He’d been charged previously and he did get off.

HAINES: In 2015.

FARAH GRIFFIN: He already had very similar charges that he was able to get by before he ever met the woman, so the fact that similar activity is taking place —

HAINES: She needs to be there too.

NAVARRO (interrupting): I’m actually very familiar with that first case. I knew both of them. I knew Dr. Melden because he was always with Bob. And, I mean, Bob’s a guy who’s been in my house. I’ve been at his mom’s funeral. I know him very well.

And I think part of the reason that he hasn’t been made to resign, that Schumer haven’t forced it, his colleagues haven’t forced it, is because there is a reservoir of goodwill towards him and respect towards him that there wasn’t toward like a George Santos, for example. And also I think it’s because he’s up for re-election now this November. And so, it’s not like he’s got another four years to serve, right? And the case is coming up — is coming up now.

This case to me feels different than the first case. And I did tell you the first time I read about this case, I think this woman — I think Bob was completely smitten, enamored. He was a lone wolf for a long time. This happened during COVID. Again, I don’t excuse him. He is a smart guy. He should have known better. He’s not something stupid gullible ingenue.

SUNNY HOSTIN: The gold bars are a giveaway, right?

[Crosstalk]

HAINES: First time, shame on you; second time it’s shame on me. In 2015, there was a close enough trial. If he’s coming back knowing, “Oh my gosh, I almost got caught” and he is so smart, dabbling in what he is dabbling in is dangerous and almost felt like he feels he was above it.

NAVARRO: It seems to me gold bars for a gold digger.

FARAH GRIFFIN: There are Democratic senator who’ve called for his resignation.

HAINES: Fetterman.

FARAH GRIFFIN: Including John Fetterman. So, I think the senator who served multiple times should stand on his own two feet, not blame the woman.

NAVARRO: The difference with John Fetterman is that John Fetterman is new in the Senate. And so, he probably doesn’t have the collegiality and friendship and history with Menendez that most of the others do.

FARAH GRIFFIN: But that often blinds judgment.

HAINES: Gold bars and you’re hiding them in your suit pockets and you’re giving your wife a car and they have text messages. I’d say, collegiality aside, you’ve crossed over.

FARAH GRIFFIN: That’s where the good old boys club gets in the way. It’s like, “oh, we like him. He’s such a such a nice guy.” Well, if he’s committing crimes it doesn’t really matter.

NAVARRO: Which is why I tell you I feel like I know that I’m biased. I like the guy and I keep hoping against hope there is some reasonable explanation. I hope — Listen, I hope the truth comes out. You know, I read — I read that Costco sells gold bars and they’re sold out.

HOSTIN: Really?!

NAVARRO: Yes!

HAINES: You can buy gold bars?

HOSTIN: I don’t know about some gold bars from Costco.

(…)

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