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PLACES BLAME ON TRUMP CAMPAIGN
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 30, 2016) — In an interview with CCN’s Jake Tapper, “conservative” commentator Amanda Carpenter denied all allegations leveled against her in a March 22 article published in the National Enquirer as to any unprofessional relationship she might have had with her former boss, Sen. Ted Cruz, for whom Carpenter worked as his senatorial communications director.
The headline of the column containing a video of the exchange is titled, “Amanda Carpenter Slams Door on Conspiracy Theories and Smears.”
Carpenter is a writer for “Conservative Review,” headed by Mark Levin, who has taken a clear pro-Cruz stance in the presidential election on his radio show. Carpenter is also a former speechwriter for former Sen. James DeMint, who now heads The Heritage Foundation.
Carpenter claimed that the Enquirer’s story, which spans two pages in its edition published last week, presented pixellated photos of five women “chosen at random.” The women’s names were not provided in the article.
Tapper called the Enquirer a “supermarket tabloid rag” which utilized a “single anonymous source” for the story in question, later naming former Trump adviser Roger Stone as an “on-the-record” source.
In an interview on Sunday, Stone stated that he was contacted for comment for the story but cannot be considered a “source” of it. However, Stone told the interviewer that the story is “largely true.”
In another interview with Steve Malzberg of Newsmax on Tuesday, Stone again denied having “given” the story to the National Enquirer. “If I had planted the story, you would never know it,” Stone said.
Stone also told Malzberg that he found it “odd” and “curious” that Cruz has not filed a lawsuit against the Enquirer.
Trump’s national spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, alleged to have also had involvement with Cruz, denied the claim while stating that she could “only speak to myself.”
Tapper asked Carpenter if “anything” happened between Cruz and her, to which she vehemently responded, “I had a purely professional relationship with Senator Cruz.”
Carpenter said she is currently in the position of “defending myself but not making it worse.” She decried a “toxic culture” emanating from the 2016 presidential election cycle and said that Americans should be “unafraid to confront it.”
When asked about presidential candidate Donald Trump’s response to the allegations, Carpenter told Tapper that she would have preferred that the Trump campaign to have “tried to tamp it down.” “I don’t want to see this kind of allegations [sic] being thrown about….I don’t think he took any action to try to say ‘this is the kind of negativity I don’t want to be associated with….'” Carpenter said.
Carpenter has made numerous negative remarks about Trump through her Twitter account. Tweets appearing to have been issued by Carpenter, particularly from 2014, refer to affairs with married men and a “summer love,” using words from Olivia Newton John and John Travolta’s song “Summer Nights” featured in the movie “Grease.”
“Do you intend to take any legal action against the National Enquirer, against the Trump campaign?” Tapper asked, to which Carpenter answered, “I’m just trying to get through this to protect my reputation, protect my career, protect my family. I’ll continue to talk with lawyers, but I hope that I can this and the things I was focused on last week. That’s all I want – before this all broke.”
When asked, Carpenter denied having any “knowledge” of “any of these allegations that were raised by a supermarket tabloid, and I don’t think they had any evidence, either.”
“They don’t have any proof,” Carpenter added, referring to the five women who she again said were chosen “randomly,” attributing the Enquirer story to “a really ugly smear that seems all too common this campaign season.”
Tapper characterized the allegations against Carpenter as “sexist.”
Carpenter said that the accusations are “destructive.”
In 2007 and 2008, questions about Barack Hussein Obama’s presidential eligibility, birthplace, religion and life narrative were termed “conspiracy theories” and “smears,” to which Obama referred directly on his then-campaign website, “FighttheSmears.” In 2012, a criminal investigation revealed that Obama’s long-form birth certificate, made public on April 27, 2011 on the White House website, and his Selective Service registration form, are “computer-generated forgeries.”
The “conservative” media has consistently failed to report on those findings.
Two and one-half months after Cruz launched his presidential campaign last year, Carpenter announced her resignation as his communications director in what was described as “a major blow” to Cruz’s nascent campaign.
For his part, Cruz has called the Enquirer story “garbage,” but at a campaign event on Tuesday in Wisconsin, surrogate Carly Fiorina would not allow Cruz to respond to a question as to whether or not he has been completely faithful to his wife, Heidi.
Fiorina described the NE piece as “scurrilous” and accused the media of “playing to Donald Trump’s tune.” Lat June, her campaign reportedly received $500,000 from a political action committee supportive of Cruz.
Fiorina insisted that the media “stop playing to Donald Trump.”
Cruz then commanded a UK Daily Mail reporter to “stop interrupting” by insisting that Cruz answer the question.
Cruz insisted that the story was “planted by Donald Trump’s henchmen” but presented no proof. On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that the allegations against Cruz began with former presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s allies, not Trump’s.
It is generally known that if a person’s reputation is damaged by the conscious dissemination of false information, he or she can file a defamation lawsuit. The spreading of false information in print is “libel,” whereas spoken defamation is “slander.”
In the past, the Enquirer accurately reported on indiscretions involving former vice-presidential candidate John Edwards and former presidential candidate Gary Hart. It has also raised questions about Obama’s eligibility and the birth certificate forgery findings.
On December 30, 2015, Trump told the Daily Mail that his own past “indiscretions” are “fair game” in the presidential election.
This story was updated at 4:02 p.m. EDT.