DOUBLE-DOWN

Trump Defends Parroting JFK-Cruz Conspiracy

In a new interview published Thursday, President Donald Trump defends and doubles down on many of the falsehoods that he has repeated throughout the 2016 campaign and his presidency. Notably, Trump defended parroting a baseless attack on Ted Cruz’s father—that he was somehow involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy—by saying it was “in a newspaper.” The charge was first brought to the forefront, though, by the National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid known for peddling hoaxes and conspiracies. “I was referring to a newspaper. A Ted Cruz article referred to a newspaper story with, had a picture of Ted Cruz, his father, and Lee Harvey Oswald, having breakfast,” Trump said in an interview with Time, adding: “I’m just quoting the newspaper.” (The supposed Cruz-Oswald photo has never been authenticated and Cruz did in fact deny the report.) In the interview, Trump also stood by his unsubstantiated claims that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election, that U.S. Muslims were cheering on the 9/11 terror attacks, and that President Obama ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower.