After a far-right backlash for calling the Jan.6 insurgency a “violent terrorist attack,” US Senator Ted Cruz crawled on Thursday on the show from Fox News scholar Tucker Carlson, saying he had chosen his words carelessly.
“The way I put it yesterday, it was sloppy and it was downright stupid,” the Texas Republican told a disbelieving Carlson. Cruz stated that he only intended to use the T word on those who had violently attacked police officers.
However, a CNN fact-check found that Cruz has labeled the Capitol Riot a terrorist attack or branded participants as terrorists at least 17 times in the past year. The senator used the verbiage in official statements shared on his website, in interviews, in tweets and in hearings, according to the News Network’s tally.
In the first of these statements, shared on his website the day after the insurgency, Cruz called the assault on the US Capitol “an act of vile terrorism and a shocking attack on our democratic system.” He urged the justice ministry to “vigorously prosecute all those who have been implicated in these brazen acts of violence.”
As recently as a Senate committee hearing on July 16, Cruz questioned the Inspector General of the Capitol Police on the measures law enforcement should have taken “to prevent the violent terrorist attack from successfully breaking through. Capitol”.
CNN has contacted Camp Cruz to make sense of the apparent inconsistency. A spokesperson for the senator’s office “emailed a response that disparaged CNN and other media but failed to provide an explanation,” according to the report.
A CNN story update noted that the same spokesperson sent a follow-up to the network two hours after releasing the fact check. In the response, the spokesperson called the premise of the story “false” and added that Cruz’s verbal blunder “did not explain the difference between acts of violence and a peaceful protest.”
And, you guessed it, Cruz’s spokesperson “once again denigrated CNN and other media,” according to the network’s report.
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