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Revealed: Cruz’s campaign encouraged supporters to spread false rumor Carson quit campaign

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Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) campaign called precinct chairs in Iowa to encourage them to misrepresent Ben Carson’s campaign status, Breitbart News reported.

A precinct captain supporting the senator, who identified herself as Nancy Bliesman, produced two voicemails she received from the campaign telling her to tell Carson supporters he was leaving the race.

“It has just been announced that Ben Carson is taking a leave of absence from the campaign trail,” one voicemail stated. “So it is very important that you tell any Ben Carson voters that for tonight, uh, that they not waste a vote on Ben Carson, and vote for Ted Cruz. He is taking a leave of absence from his campaign.”

The two voicemails were left at 7:07 p.m. and 7:29 p.m. local time, after CNN reported that Carson would be traveling to his home in Florida after the caucuses, but not ending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

The second voicemail states that Carson will be “suspending campaigning following [Monday’s] caucuses,” adding that any caucusgoers backing Carson should be urged to switch their support to Cruz.

However, Bliesman said, voters in her precinct did not receive the messages sent by the campaign.

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“Ben Carson did get his votes in our precinct ’cause I didn’t take the calls,” she said.

Cruz apologized earlier this week to Carson, saying his campaign should have updated their messaging. A spokesperson for his camp, Catherine Frazier, suggested to Breitbart that CNN’s reporting on Carson’s status was mistaken.

“The voicemails are in line with the reports that were made at that time,” Frazier said. “Our campaign shared an accurate report that Carson was suspending campaigning after the caucuses – he went home and he went to D.C. — and these voicemails do not suggest that he would completely drop out of the race.”

The voicemails, as posted online, can be heard below.

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[h/t Talking Points Memo]

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2020 Election

WATCH: Katie Porter explains to constituents why her conscience demands support for Trump impeachment inquiry

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Congresswoman Katie Porter, in a video posted on social media Monday night, shared with residents of her purple California district why she is joining dozens of other Democrats who support launching an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

"I didn't come to Congress to impeach the president," said the first-term representative. "But when faced with a crisis of this magnitude, I cannot with a clean conscience ignore my duty to defend the Constitution. I can't claim to be committed to rooting out corruption and putting people over politics and then not apply those same principles and standards in all of the work I do."

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Rick Wilson hilariously ridicules the ‘formal flip-flops’ and ‘dress cargo pants’ worn by Florida Trump supporters

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Republican strategist Rick Wilson mocked the attire of the Donald Trump supporters who were bused in from around Florida for his official campaign kickoff in Orlando.

Wilson, a Florida man himself, joined MSNBC's Brian Williams for post-rally analysis on "The 11th Hour."

Williams played a clip of a Trump supporter with sleeveless Trump T-shirt identifying her as a "proud member of the basket of deplorables" explaining why she'll vote to re-elect the president in 2020.

"The main reason? Because he’s one of the best presidents we’ve had for a very long time," the woman argued. "Very long time."

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Trump’s ‘tired and lazy’ re-election message ‘is not working’ at his Orlando kickoff: Florida Republican David Jolly

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President Donald Trump's re-election is "in trouble" in Florida, a former Republican congressman who represented the state explained on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell on Tuesday.

"As we’ve been reporting the president officially kicked off his re-election campaign tonight in Florida, where he was greeted by a Quinnipiac poll released today showing he is losing the state of Florida to six Democratic presidential candidates in one-on-one match-ups," O'Donnell reported. "President Trump won the state of Florida by 1.3% of the vote so he cannot afford to lose any support in Florida."

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