President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1963

President John F. Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1963

Rafael Cruz, the father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, finally has fired back at presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump for associating him with the John F. Kennedy assassination.

In an exclusive interview with WND, the pastor categorially denied all of Trump’s accusations.

“These accusations are totally unfounded and without merit,” the elder Cruz told WND.

In response to Trump’s charge he met and associated with Lee Harvey Oswald, the man identified as Kennedy’s assassin, Rafael Cruz said “absolutely not.”

Rafael Cruz also said he was never a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, an organization Oswald claimed to speak for during his time in New Orleans and for which he distributed leaflets. Rafael Cruz said it is “absolutely not” him in the photographs published by the National Enquirer tabloid claiming to link Cruz to Oswald.

Rafael Cruz was a crucial part of his son’s efforts in Indiana in the final days of his campaign, as the Texas senator unsuccessfully tried to convince evangelical Christians to back him against Trump.

Just before the Indiana primary in a televised interview with Fox News, Trump slammed Rafael Cruz’s call for the “Body of Christ” to support Ted Cruz. Rafael Cruz stated the alternative could be “the destruction of America.”

However, rather than limiting himself to Rafael Cruz’s remarks, Trump also referenced the National Enquirer report, asking: “What was [Rafael Cruz] doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.”

In response to Trump’s charges against his father, Ted Cruz held a press conference and issued a blistering statement calling Trump a “pathological liar,” an “utterly amoral bully” and a “narcissist.”

Rafael Cruz

Rafael Cruz

He also declined to endorse Trump after dropping out of the race. Trump complimented Cruz during his own victory speech after the Indiana primary – but only after the presumptive nominee had definitely defeated the man he famously labeled “Lyin’ Ted.”

Trump later said “of course” he didn’t actually believe Rafael Cruz had anything to do with John F. Kennedy’s assassination. In an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Trump said he was simply bashing back after Rafael Cruz said “horrible” things about him and argued people could read the story and make up their own minds.

Don’t miss Rafael Cruz’s explosive call to Christian America, “A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America,” available now from the WND Superstore.

David Barton, the author of the controversial New York Times bestseller “The Jefferson Lies” and a close adviser to Cruz who heads the pro-Cruz Super PAC “Keep the Promise,” charged Trump’s comments were typical.

“This is a pattern Trump has shown,” Barton told WND. “He will come out with some egregious, outrageous claim, and no one ever requires him to prove it. He simply says it, and it gets legs all on its own and becomes an earned media story for the next couple days.”

Barton argued Trump and his campaign knew exactly what they were doing when they leveled the sensational charge against Rafael Cruz.

“Clearly, Trump’s people thought it would have an effect; otherwise, they would not have done it,” Barton said.

Before the Indiana primary, Barton told WND he believed the momentum was shifting toward Cruz and the vote would be close. As it turned out, Trump won an easy victory, crushing Cruz in a state the Texas senator had earlier portrayed as a must win.

After dropping out, Cruz floated the possibility of unsuspending his campaign and jumping back into the Republican race before the Nebraska primary. Such talk has faded as Trump continues to win easy victories in each remaining state.

Still, even as Trump’s status as the Republican nominee is now all but certain, Cruz has continued to criticize the New York mogul, saying those who enabled Trump’s rise “would bear that responsibility going forward.”

For his part, Trump appears to be acting as if Cruz and other leading Republicans will eventually support him. He reportedly at one point was considering making Cruz his vice presidential nominee.

However, the charges Trump leveled against Rafael Cruz may have fatally damaged the relationship between the two men.

Barton expressed skepticism Cruz would be able to endorse Trump, especially after Trump’s comments about his father.

“If Cruz comes around to supporting Trump, he’s a bigger man than most people are because of the lies and charges just like this,” Barton said sadly. “If Trump’s willing to do this to get elected, what else is he willing to do once he becomes president or tries to become president? And so for people of character and honor and for people who know how all this works with Trump, this is a hard thing.”

Barton also defended the integrity of the man he backed throughout the primary.

“Even though Cruz has been labeled as ‘Lyin’ Ted’ Cruz, I have yet to have anyone tell me what the lies are,” Barton said.

Ted Cruz himself re-emerged recently at the Texas Republican Convention, saying the movement he built is more important than his candidacy. He referred to conservatives as “the remnant” who will be “the core of the movement pulling this country back from the abyss.”

However, he declined to endorse Trump or speak in favor of party unity, even leaving the venue before an address by Trump supporter Sen. Jeff Sessions.

If Trump does expect Cruz’s endorsement, let alone Cruz joining the ticket, it appears the master dealmaker will have to take the first step – even if that means Trump will have to speak not just to Ted Cruz, but to the senator’s father.

Don’t miss Rafael Cruz’s explosive call to Christian America, “A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America,” available now from the WND Superstore.

 

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