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Did Donald Trump plant a Ted Cruz adultery allegation in The National Enquirer?

The Enquirer, which I am legally obligated to note sometimes gets things right, like the John Edwards mistress story, is reporting that Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz has had at least five extramarital affairs. Per the Enquirer’s report:

“Private detectives are digging into at least five affairs Ted Cruz supposedly had,” claimed a Washington insider.

“The leaked details are an attempt to destroy what’s left of his White House campaign!”

The ENQUIRER reports that Cruz’s claimed mistresses include a foxy political consultant and a high-placed D.C. attorney!

The Cruz story has all the hallmarks of the Edwards story: hypocrisy, a slimy politician who rubs a lot of people the wrong way for reasons they can’t quite explain, sex. What it doesn’t have yet is any hard evidence, like the John Edwards love child shot, though the Enquirer is following the money. 

But there are reasons to be suspicious beyond the usual Enquirer caveats. Donald Trump, who threatened to “spill the beans” about Cruz’s wife on Tuesday, has close ties with The National Enquirer. As New York’s Gabriel Sherman wrote in October of 2015, “Trump and Enquirer CEO David Pecker have been friends for years. ‘They’re very close,’ said a source close to the Enquirer.” Trump was reportedly the source behind a hit piece on Ben Carson, which claimed the surgeon left a sponge in a patient’s brain and regularly committed malpractice. The Enquirer also went after Carly Fiorina in the fall. 

So, Cruz may be having an affair or he might not. Conservatives have been referring to it on Twitter, using the hashtag #TheThing. But it’s also possible that Donald Trump—who, it should be noted, has regularly attacked Cruz for fighting dirty and lying—is behind this attack. 

(h/t Sarah