A potentially crippling political storm is swirling around U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz following the publication of his alleged extramarital affairs with five women, Newsmax reported.
A furious Cruz vehemently denied the report that appeared in the National Enquirer weekly tabloid and on its website (www.nationalenquirer.com), and he is squarely blaming GOP rival Donald Trump for this.
"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," Cruz wrote on his Facebook page.
"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."
The Enquirer stood by the veracity of its story, saying Cruz's alleged extramarital affairs stand to "destroy" his presidential hopes. The weekly tabloid is known to have brought down other politicians with stories about their affairs, including former Sens. John Edwards and Gary Hart.
The Enquirer article showed pictures of the five women it claimed Cruz allegedly had tryst with. Their faces were pixelated to hide their identities.
Trump swiftly responded to Cruz's accusation, denying his involvement in the alleged scandal, on his Facebook page.
"I have no idea whether or not the cover story about Ted Cruz in this week's issue of the National Enquirer is true or not, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it, did not know about it, and have not, as yet, read it," Trump wrote.
"Likewise, I have nothing to do with the National Enquirer and unlike Lyin' Ted Cruz I do not surround myself with political hacks and henchman and then pretend total innocence."
It was easy to link Trump to the Enquirer because the latter had officially endorsed the New York billionaire for president and has featured critical articles on some of his top rivals. The Enquirer once reported that former GOP presidential bet Dr. Ben Carson had been hit by a string of malpractice lawsuits. Carson is now one of Trump's endorsers.
"Ted Cruz's problem with the National Enquirer is his and his alone, and while they were right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin' Ted Cruz," Trump concluded his Facebook post.
As the bitterness between the two top GOP rivals deepened, Cruz said he has decided to take back his earlier pledge to support Trump if he becomes the party's presidential nominee.
"I don't make a habit out of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family, and Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee," Cruz said Friday, The Hill reported.