Pressure surrounding an alleged “sex scandal” involving Ted Cruz became too much to bear for the GOP presidential candidate Friday.
A National Enquirer story that broke on Thursday claims the Texas senator cheated on his wife with at least five women. Two women implicated in the story strenuously denied the tabloid’s reporting, and Cruz weighed in to denounce the “garbage” disseminated by “Trump’s henchmen.”
“The CEO of the National Enquirer is an individual named David Pecker,” Cruz told reporters on Friday, the Washington Post reported. “Well, David is good friends with Donald Trump. In fact, the National Enquirer has endorsed Donald Trump, has said he must be president … [and] years from now, when my daughters google this, they will read these lies.”
Two women having their names linked to alleged Cruz affairs include the senator’s former Communications Director Amanda Carpenter and Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson, who in 2012 consulted for Cruz’s Senate campaign in Texas.
Carpenter was forced to make a denial when it was brought up during a live CNN broadcast by Trump supporter Adriana Cohen.
“What’s out there is tabloid trash. If someone wants to comment on it they can talk to my lawyer. It is categorically false. You should be ashamed for spreading this kind of smut,” Carpenter said.
Pierson denied her involvement with Cruz while the Twitter hashtag #Cruzsexscandal was trending and a crowdsourcing effort was underway to identify individuals whose faces were blurred out in the tabloid’s story.
“Of course the National Enquirer story is 100% FALSE!!! I can only speak for myself, however,” Pierson wrote.
Cruz also took to his official Facebook page after speaking with reporters to tell his 2 million followers that he categorically denied the National Enquirer’s claims.
“I want to be crystal clear: these attacks are garbage,” said Cruz. “For Donald J. Trump to enlist his friends at the National Enquirer and his political henchmen to do his bidding shows you that there is no low Donald won’t go. These smears are completely false, they’re offensive to Heidi and me, they’re offensive to our daughters, and they’re offensive to everyone Donald continues to personally attack. Donald Trump’s consistently disgraceful behavior is beneath the office we are seeking and we are not going to follow.”
Trump released his own statement denying any involvement on his part in spreading the story:
“I have no idea whether or not the cover story about Ted Cruz in this week’s issue of the National Enquirer is true or not, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it, did not know about it, and have not, as yet, read it. I have nothing to do with the National Enquirer and unlike Lyin’ Ted Cruz I do not surround myself with political hacks and henchman and then pretend total innocence. Ted Cruz’s problem with the National Enquirer is his and his alone, and while they were right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz. I look forward to spending the week in Wisconsin, winning the Republican nomination and ultimately the presidency in order to Make America Great Again.”