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.
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.
“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.”
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.”