But here are five things we do know about the National Enquirer story.
1. Trump’s People Have Been Pushing The Story. Trump has a long, friendly history with the CEO of the National Enquirer, as Gabe Sherman of New York Magazine pointed out back in October:
Trump and Enquirer CEO David Pecker have been friends for years. “They’re very close,” said a source close to the Enquirer. In July 2013, Trump even tweeted that Pecker should become CEO of Time magazine, which at the time was being spun off from its corporate parent, Time Warner. “He’d make it exciting and win awards!”
2. Katrina Pierson, One Of The National Enquirer’s Women, Has Denied The Story. Pierson, you may recall, is Trump’s campaign press spokeswoman. She would have every interest in confirming the story, given that it would put an end to Cruz’s presidential hopes and, indeed, his entire career. Yet here’s what she’s tweeted this morning about the Enquirer story:
3. Amanda Carpenter, Another Of The National Enquirer’s Women, Has Denied The Story. Carpenter, a longtime Cruz supporter, appeared on CNN, where Adriana Cohen, one of Trump’s surrogates, promptly accused her of having an affair with Cruz. Carpenter fired back:
What’s out there is tabloid trash. If someone wants to comment on it, they can talk to my lawyer, it is categorically false, you should be ashamed for spreading this kind of smut, Donald Trump supporters should be held to account for it, and I will not be intimidated, I will continue to make my thoughts known about Donald Trump, and I am not backing down.
Sources tell me that Carpenter has indeed hired a lawyer and is considering filing a lawsuit against National Enquirer.
4. The Cruz Super PAC That Donated Money To The Carly Fiorina Campaign Almost Certainly Didn’t Do It To Shut Up Sarah Isgur Flores. Heavy.com reported thusly this morning:
Sarah Isgur Flores, in the center of the supposed de-pixelated photos above, worked for the Fiorina campaign during the 2016 election. As goes the theory, when Fiorina found out about the affair, Cruz silenced her with a half-million-dollar donation. It bears repeating that no one has proof of anything, and Fiorina has herself endorsed and campaigned with Cruz since ending her campaign. Moreover, a photo from Flores’s Twitter shows Fiorina and the Cruz family being quite friendly.
5. Cruz Has Denied The Story, And Blamed The Trump Campaign For The Smear. Cruz told the press, “It is garbage, complete and utter lies. It is a tabloid smear and it has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen.” Cruz continued, “This man would be an embarrassment – we don’t want a president that traffics in sleaze and slime,” adding that Trump has an “issue with strong women.” Cruz came as close as possible to stating that he would not back Trump as the Republican nominee. Here’s Cruz’s statement from Facebook:
I want to be crystal clear: these attacks are garbage. 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.
These smears are completely false, they’re offensive to Heidi and me, they’re offensive to our daughters, and they’re offensive to everyone Donald continues to personally attack.
Donald Trump’s consistently disgraceful behavior is beneath the office we are seeking and we are not going to follow.
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