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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.

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“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.

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

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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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GOP will be ‘aided and abetted’ by Russian bots and trolls defending Trump: Former FBI counter-intel chief

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The former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned Americans to "hunker down" because Russian intelligence will be repeating Republican talking points.

Frank Figliuzzi was interviewed Thursday by MSNBC's Brian Williams on "The Last Word."

"Frank, Fiona Hill -- who richly deserves it -- has been awarded front page status tomorrow morning on the front page of The New York Times, and I imagine newspapers and websites across this country," Williams noted.

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Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

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"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.

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Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

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