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Marco Rubio allies tried to spread rumors of alleged Cruz affairs for months: report

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The allegation that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) engaged in several extramarital affairs has been swirling for months, in part thanks to allies of fellow Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the Daily Beast reported.

According to the Beast, at least six Republican party operatives and “media figures” have said that the rumors were pitched as stories to outlets including ABC News, Politico, the New York Times, and conservative news site Breitbart.com, among others.

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One unidentified source affiliated with Breitbart said that a Rubio ally showed that publication a video showing the Texas lawmaker entering and leaving a hotel and restaurant in Washington D.C. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But Breitbart political editor Matt Boyle decided not to pursue the story.

“It was too thin,” the source said, adding, “There was no way to verify the claims.”

None of the other outlets named in the report did, either. But it is unclear whether they were shown the video. Rubio’s campaign has not commented on the accusations that he was involved.

The rumors did not surface until late Thursday night, when Gawker reported that the National Enquirer published the story in its print edition.

Cruz immediately denied the report, calling it “garbage” and accusing Donald Trump — the current front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination — of being behind it.

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“For Donald J. Trump to enlist his friends at the National Enquirer and his political henchmen to do his bidding shows you that there is no low Donald won’t go,” the senator said on his Facebook page.

Both Cruz and the Beast noted that the tabloid’s CEO, David Pecker, is a friend of the real estate mogul. Not only has the Enquirer run disparaging stories against other Republican presidential candidates, but another unidentified source told the New York Daily News that Pecker is “protecting” Trump.

“Some of the staff are furious,” the source said. “Trump’s such fertile ground, and it drives them crazy to not only be staying away from it, but running puff pieces for him.”

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Trump denied being behind the story, as well, while adding, “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.”


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Trump aide told investigators Paul Manafort began spreading Ukraine conspiracy theories as soon as DNC server hack was revealed

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On Friday, a new batch of documents recording the interviews former special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors held with aides to President Donald Trump was released, as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by BuzzFeed News.

One of the revelations in the interviews with Rick Gates, who served as an aide to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was that Manafort began pushing conspiracy theories about Ukraine at the same time that the Russian hack into the Democratic National Committee became publicly known.

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Joe Biden takes on Trump’s rhetoric during racial justice crises: ‘The words of a president matter’

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Former Vice President Joe Biden talked about the importance of a president's words and accountability during times of crisis during a Friday appearance on MSNBC.

Biden was interviewed by Craig Melvin, who noted the protests tearing apart cities and asked where he would start if elected president.

"I start by talking about what we must be, making no excuses, talking about our obligation to be decent," Biden answered. "Our obligation to take responsibility, our obligation to stand up when we see injustice."

"Look, the words of a president matter -- no matter how good or bad that president is," he explained. "A president can, by their words alone no matter who they are, make it rise or fall, take us to war, bring us to peace. The words of a president matter."

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South Carolina Republicans gather for an ‘active rejection’ of social distancing measures: report

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On Friday, The New York Times reported on a gathering of Republicans in Conway, South Carolina that appeared to be an "active rejection" of social distancing measures and other public health guidelines.

"The outdoor gathering here on Thursday was a send-off event for Cleo Steele, a longtime Republican Party operative in Horry County, who is retiring to Ohio," wrote Astead Herndon. "Speakers shared the same microphone. Local and state political candidates greeted voters with handshakes and squeezed tight for pictures. Of all the people gathered outside the county Republican office — many of them senior citizens — fewer than a dozen wore masks."

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