Gov. Jim Gibbons said Tuesday he doesn't believe rumors the Democrats paid Wall Street Journal reporters to write negative stories about his relationship with a defense contractor.
"Sure I've heard the rumors," he said. "I have no way of knowing."
Asked directly whether he believed the rumors, Gibbons said, "No."
He said he did find it strange that the Wall Street Journal would travel to Elko to cover a debate between him and Democratic contender Dina Titus during last year's gubernatorial campaign. He said he is pretty sure one of his staff members told him about the rumors.
"My campaign told me that. I didn't give it any credence," he said.
The Journal reported Gibbons is under investigation by the Justice Department for allegedly accepting gifts and cash from Reno businessman Warren Trepp in trade for helping Trepp get a lucrative contract to develop a highly classified computerized face recognition system for the Defense Department.
Titus, the Democratic Senate minority leader, has denied any involvement with the stories about Gibbons and Trepp. And Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said she finds it hard to imagine anyone getting a story in the Journal by paying someone off.
Gibbons has confirmed he and his wife took a trip with the Trepps to the Carribean, including a flight on the businessman's private jet. The Wall Street Journal has also claimed Gibbons took cash to gamble from Trepp.
Gibbons has said his family and the Trepps are close friends and did vacation together. But he has denied any impropriety.
"I'm one who is always subject to rumors," he said.