CNN political contributor, Amanda Carpenter, got into a verbal fracas during a Friday segment. The former communications director for Ted Cruz, who, along with five other women, is named in an alleged affair with the Republican presidential hopeful. Carpenter defended herself from allegations that she had an affair with Senator Cruz.
The National Enquirer ran an exclusive story that claimed its sources confirmed the Texas senator committed adultery while married to his wife, Heidi Cruz. The news spread on Twitter after the hashtags #TedCruzAffairs and #CruzSexScandal went viral on Thursday, shortly after the story broke.
The tabloid showed distorted headshots of Cruz's rumored mistresses without mentioning names of the paramours. However, Liz Mair, a well-known GOP strategist, took to her Twitter account and alleged that two of the five "other women" are Amanda Carpenter and Katrina Pierson.
Pierson is a Tea Party activist, who was supported by Cruz during her past campaign for Congress. She is now Donald Trump's national spokesperson for his presidential campaign.
get you a woman who can do both#cruzsexscandal pic.twitter.com/dYCn56eFFDAmanda Carpenter joined Adriana Cohen, a Boston newspaper columnist and radio host (and Trump supporter) to discuss the current wives feud between Trump and Cruz on social media. Instead, things went awry when Cohen lobbed a subtle attack against Carpenter. Kate Bolduan was the anchor, according to Gawker.
— Baked Alaska (@bakedalaska) March 25, 2016
"Where we should move to is the National Enquirer story that has reported that Ted Cruz has allegedly had affairs with at least five mistresses, including—you've been named, Amanda."
Cohen pressed Carpenter about the damning rumors that implicated her as a Cruz mistress. She suggested her colleague respond to the rumors and issue a statement about the gossip to clear the air.
Carpenter, apparently caught off guard by the on-camera ambush, vehemently denied the charges, and things got a little testy.
"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."
Bolduan, who arguably looked more surprised at Cohen's suggestion, tried to redirect the conversation back on the scheduled topic. She took the position that the network would remain fair and balanced by only talking about the story once it independently verified the Enquirer's headlines.
CNN got???????????????????????????? this afternoon https://t.co/JZYUpxiAi0 pic.twitter.com/ppY4OFlnXw"I think we should move on," she said. "Let's do this. Let's move on, because I don't want to talk about the message, the messenger, the intent of the message—at least for today. At least for today, ladies, I don't want to talk about a National Enquirer report."
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) March 25, 2016
Meanwhile, Cruz blasted the allegations and stated that Trump's camp "planted" the story as part of his dirty politics of character assassination.
Cruz, already incensed by The Donald's attack on his wife, Heidi, on Twitter, issued a statement on the micro-sharing site about his alleged affairs.
"Let me be clear. This National Enquirer story is garbage. It is complete and utter lies. It is a tabloid smear, and it is a smear that has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen."
Cruz also used Facebook to attack his Republican rival.
"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."
Later, The Daily Beast refuted Cruz's assertion that Trump was involved in the anonymous tip to the NE. Reportedly, the infidelity scandal was peddled by Marco Rubio's camp long before the Enquirer's story came to light.
"The truth behind the rumor-mongering, however, is a little more complex. A half-dozen GOP operatives and media figures tell The Daily Beast that Cruz's opponents have been pushing charges of adultery for at least six months now—and that allies of former GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio were involved in spreading the smears."
As of this writing, the hashtags about Cruz's alleged concubines are still trending. Amanda Carpenter is standing by her statements of denial and is reportedly working on getting her Twitter account verified to rule out imposters.
Stay tuned for more developments.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]