Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday accused Donald Trump “and his henchmen” of peddling an article in a supermarket tabloid alleging that Cruz had engaged in extramarital affairs.
Cruz called the report, published by The National Enquirer, a piece of “garbage,” replete with “utter lies.” He said “the truth does not matter” to Trump.
“He will lie and go to sleaze,” Cruz told reporters after a campaign stop in Wisconsin. “Well, that sleaze has no place in politics, and I hope the American people are fed up with it.”
In a statement, Trump denied playing any role in The Enquirer’s article.
“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,” he said.
At his news conference, Cruz noted that Republican strategist Roger Stone, a Trump ally and former aide to Richard M. Nixon, was the only person quoted by name in the article.
“Mr. Stone is a man who has 50 years of dirty tricks behind him,” Cruz said.
Stone, on Twitter, said “Lyin’ Ted is even lyin’ about me.”
Cruz also said Trump is close with David J. Pecker, chief executive of American Media Inc., which publishes The Enquirer. In a statement, the company said, “No one influences the reporting that The National Enquirer does other than our own reporters and editors.”
Asked if he would still support Trump if he emerges as the Republican nominee — something Cruz has insisted he would do despite his opponent’s escalating personal attacks — the senator from Texas deflected with a bit more bite than usual.
“I don’t make a habit out of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family,” he said.