Cruz blames Trump for adultery accusations
OSHKOSH, Wis. — Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday vehemently denied a story in the National Enquirer that accused him of extramarital affairs and blamed rival Donald Trump for planting “complete and utter lies” in the tabloid.
Cruz accused Trump and his associates of hawking a false story that the married Texas senator had sexual relationships with five unidentified women. The allegations come amid a nasty feud between the two candidates over their wives that has dominated the Republican presidential race this week.
“Let me be clear, this National Enquirer story is garbage,” Cruz told reporters after a rally at a parking-cone factory here, bringing up the subject himself. “It is complete and utter lies. It is a tabloid smear, and it is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen.”
Trump, in a statement, said he had “no idea” whether the story is true and said he had nothing to do with it.
“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,” Trump wrote.
Cruz, in turn, labeled the front-runner for the Republican nomination “Sleazy Donald.”
The National Enquirer did not name the women allegedly involved but published photos of five women with their faces blurred out. The Washington Post has not confirmed any of the allegations made by the Enquirer.
The saga comes amid the foul and strikingly personal atmosphere of the 2016 Republican presidential race, which has seen attacks leveled on spouses, jokes about the size of genitalia and rivals labeled “con artist,” “sleazy” and “liar.”
One woman who spoke out about the story was Trump’s national spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, who once worked for Cruz. She said the story was categorically untrue.
“Speaking for myself, the article is trash and 100% false,” Pierson wrote in an email to The Post. She tweeted earlier in the day: “Of course the National Enquirer story is 100% FALSE!!! I only speak to myself, however. Carry on …”
On CNN, a Trump supporter, Boston Herald columnist Adriana Cohen, accused former Cruz staffer Amanda Carpenter on live television of being one of the women cited in the Enquirer story.
Carpenter vigorously denied the allegation. “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,” she said.