Denial follows Cruz blaming story on Trump and “his henchmen”
Donald Trump has denied any involvement in a story in the National Enquirer that said that Ted Cruz, Trump’s bitter rival for the nomination, had engaged in extramarital affairs, but he added provocatively that the tabloid magazine had a “very good record of being right.” Trump’s denial comes days after Cruz blamed the story on “Donald Trump and his henchmen.”
When asked by Jonathan Karl, guest moderator of ABC’S “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” if he or his campaign had any involvement in the story, the GOP frontrunner denied involvement in a telephone interview. “I had nothing to do with it, the campaign had nothing to do with it. He’s got a problem with the National Enquirer, I have no control over the National Enquirer.”
When Karl asked Trump if such stories should be “off-limits” in a presidential campaign, Trump was matter-of-fact. “I don’t care,” he said. “I mean, really, I don’t care. The National Enquirer did a story. It was their story. It wasn’t my story. It was about Ted Cruz. I have no idea whether it was right or not. They actually have a very good record of being right. But I have absolutely no idea.”
For his part, Cruz has been equally full-throated in denying the article’s assertion. “Let me be clear, this story from the National Enquirer is garbage,” he said. “It is a tabloid smear. And it is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen.”
It was the latest in a series of punches and counterpunches that have characterized the tone of the Republican campaign so far. In a recent tweet, Trump threatened to “spill the beans” about Cruz’s wife, Heidi. Karl asked Trump for an explanation. “Well, there are things about Heidi that I don’t want to talk about, but I’m not going to talk about them,” Trump said. “I mean, you know, you can look. But I wouldn’t talk about them.”
Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson, interviewed last week, said that Heidi Cruz had been working for Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, who pulled the plug on his campaign.