Menendez Case Puts Focus on Qatar’s Push to Turn Wealth Into Influence

When Senator Robert Menendez arrived in Qatar in 2022 to attend the country’s lavish production of the men’s soccer World Cup, he gave an unusual interview to the authoritarian government’s news agency praising the progress that Qatar had made on labor rights.

The tiny Gulf state was facing an onslaught of international criticism over its preparations for the world’s biggest sporting event, including over the exploitation of migrant workers who built the tournament’s infrastructure. But Mr. Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, said he preferred to highlight positive aspects of the games, and the host nation.

Traveling to Qatar gave Mr. Menendez “the experience to say wow!” he said, according to the

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