Donald Trump says Ted Cruz ‘stole’ Iowa with ‘fraud’

Donald Trump is not happy about Ted Cruz‘s victory Monday night in the Iowa Republican caucus.

After a day of criticizing Cruz, Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning to accuse Cruz of “illegally stealing” Iowa.

Twitter


Within a minute, Trump had deleted the tweet. Seven minutes later, he retweeted it, removing the word “illegally” and fixing a typo.

Trump then called for a new vote or to have Cruz’s win “nullified.”

Trump argued that Cruz had cheated by releasing a misleading statement about neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson quitting the race, potentially driving voters to Cruz’s corner.

Carson criticized Cruz for the release yesterday, demanding the firing of the campaign staffer responsible. Cruz issued an apology, saying his campaign saw a CNN report claiming that Carson was dropping out. CNN denies airing any such report.

“Last night when our political team saw the CNN post saying that Dr. Carson was not carrying on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, our campaign updated grassroots leaders just as we would with any breaking news story,” Cruz told CNN. “That’s fair game. What the team then should have done was send around the follow-up statement from the Carson campaign clarifying that he was indeed staying in the race when that came out.”

On the night of the Iowa caucuses, CNN’s Chris Moody broke the news that Carson was flying home to Florida. Campaign staffers said it was not a suspension of his campaign, but rather that Carson was simply going home to “get a fresh set of clothes.”

After that news broke, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), the Cruz campaign’s national co-chair, tweeted that Carson “looks like he is out” and urged his supporters to instead back Cruz.

CNN reports that Cruz Iowa staffer Spence Rogers sent an email to Cruz staffers on the ground telling them to start talking to Carson voters.

“Breaking News. The press is reporting that Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week,” Rogers wrote. “Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Ted Cruz.”

Carson is still in the race today. Cruz won the Iowa caucuses with 27.6 percent of the vote to Trump’s 24.3 percent.

“Anybody who’s been on the road for almost three weeks recognizes exactly what I’m talking about. You need some fresh clothes. It’s not like you’re going to be there forever,” Carson told CNN. “It’s very nice to sleep in your own bed every now and then. And if anybody can’t understand that I feel sorry for them.”

The New Hampshire primaries take place on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Update 9:16am CT, Feb. 3: Added Trump’s tweet calling for a new vote in Iowa.

Photo via Michael Vadon/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman  

Patrick Howell O'Neill

Patrick Howell O'Neill

Patrick Howell O'Neill is a notable cybersecurity reporter whose work has focused on the dark net, national security, and law enforcement. A former senior writer at the Daily Dot, O'Neill joined CyberScoop in October 2016. I am a cybersecurity journalist at CyberScoop. I cover the security industry, national security and law enforcement.