WASHINGTON — Late Monday night, Sen. Ted Cruz’s official Twitter account liked a pornographic video from an account with the handle “Sexuall Posts.” That, um, drew some attention.
Hours after the “like,” a spokeswoman for Cruz tweeted that “The offensive tweet posted on @tedcruz account earlier has been removed by staff and reported to Twitter.” Then, just after 11 a.m. ET today, Cruz himself told The Washington Post that “a staffing issue” led to the pornographic tweet being liked from his account.
So far, so bad!
The only thing anyone wants to know in the wake of something like this happening is whether or not Cruz had ANYTHING to do with it. That’s it. Literally, nothing else.
Which is why Cruz needed to — and still needs to — issue a statement ASAP saying: “I had nothing to do with this and was not aware it had even been posted until it was brought to my attention.”
He hasn’t done that. Instead, we’ve gotten very mixed messages about how this all happened.
The tweet from Cruz communications director Catherine Frazier seemed to suggest that the Texas senator’s account had been hacked somehow. Why else note that the “like” had been “reported to Twitter?” (Side note: As CNN’s Greg Krieg points out, the tweet was not actually “posted” on Cruz’s account. Someone just liked it.)
Then, Cruz himself seems to suggest that the issue wasn’t a hacking but rather an issue with a staffer who has access to his account.
So, which is it? And, if it is a staffer, has that person been fired? Also, how many staffers have access to Cruz’s social media accounts? Who has posting privileges? And how did this incident, specifically, happen?
All of these are good questions that are still hanging out there. But none are as pressing as why Cruz didn’t simply say today that he had nothing to do with this and is committed to figuring out how it happened.
To be clear: We have zero evidence Cruz was involved in this accidental liking of a pornographic video. None.
But, if you are a sitting US senator who has run for president — and wants to run again — you can’t leave the “Did you have anything to do with this” question unanswered. You can’t do it.
Cruz needs to clear this up. Immediately. Possibly sooner.