Witness: Menendez 'hostile' on call on behalf of donor

Posted: Updated:

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- A former Medicare official has testified U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez was "hostile" to him during a dispute involving a wealthy donor now on trial with the New Jersey Democrat for bribery.

Jonathan Blum testified Monday that in a phone call in 2009 and a meeting in 2012, Menendez became angry when Blum didn't agree that a Medicare reimbursement policy should be changed.

The 2012 meeting involved former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Blum testified though Menendez didn't mention a name, it was clear to him the conversation was about Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, who was involved in a multimillion-dollar billing dispute with Medicare.

An indictment charges Menendez with accepting private jet flights and luxury hotel stays from Melgen in exchange for political influence.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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