Menendez: Trump has 'moral obligation' to speak out against domestic abuse

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDem senators say Iran threat to embassies not mentioned in intelligence briefing Overnight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers Democrats 'utterly unpersuaded' by evidence behind Soleimani strike MORE (D-N.J.) said on Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' MORE has a "moral obligation" to speak out against domestic abuse amid the fallout from the allegations surrounding former staff secretary Rob Porter.

"I think he has a moral obligation to do so and as the leader of our country he needs to speak out strongly against domestic violence," Menendez told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. 

"It's pretty outrageous that we keep getting different stories about what really happened here in the White House, and today's statement by the FBI director, that they, in fact, they had the information and gave to the White House speaks volumes about the president's lack of concern on this issue," he continued. "So he needs to speak up. He's past the time he should have spoken up, and he needs to do it vigorously."


Porter resigned from his White House post last week after abuse allegations from his two ex-wives were revealed in the press.

Questions have surfaced as to when chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn were made aware of the allegations, which were brought to the attention of the FBI.

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday said that investigators submitted a partial report on their background check of Porter as far back as March 2017 and that the check ended in July.

Wray also said that new information was presented to the White House in November and January.

However, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday that the White House became aware of the full extent of the Porter allegations on Feb. 6.

Trump tweeted on Saturday that "lives were being shattered ... by a mere allegation" and raised questions about the lack of due process after Porter and another White House aide resigned amid abuse allegations. 

Sanders told reporters on Monday that "the president supports the victims of domestic violence and believes everyone should be treated fairly and with due process."

Menendez was tried in court last year after being accused of bribery by accepting gifts, campaign donations and vacations in exchange for political favors.

The federal judge presiding over the case declared a mistrial after the jury said that it was deadlocked and unable to make a decision.