At the start of his program Tuesday, CNN host Jake Tapper debunked Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's "ridiculous" and "shameful" claim that Ted Cruz's father was connected to Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin who killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
"What a day it has been," Tapper said at the start of CNN's "The Lead." "[E]very time you think this race cannot get any more ludicrous, it does."
Trump's claim came during a phone-in interview on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" Tuesday morning, when the billionaire businessman mentioned a recent tabloid story claiming the mystery man in a 1963 photo of Oswald and others is actually Cruz's father, Rafael.
"His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being — you know, shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous," Trump said. "What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it."
Tapper responded to the front-runner's comments, telling viewers that the report Trump pushed is both "bizarre" and "completely uncorroborated." The report was originally published by The National Enquirer, which has endorsed Trump and is published by a close friend of the New York real estate mogul.
It is important to note there is no evidence to suggest the photo does, in fact, feature Cruz's father and, in addition, Cruz's dad has said the man in the picture is not him.
"I cannot believe I need to say the following," Tapper said, "but here it goes: There is no corroborated evidence that Ted Cruz's father ever met Lee Harvey Oswald, or, for that matter, any other presidential assassin. We in the media don't talk about it because there's no evidence of it."
He continued, "Any suggestion that Cruz's father played a role in the Kennedy assassination is ridiculous and, frankly, shameful. Now, that's not an anti-Trump position or a pro-Cruz position — it's a pro-truth position."
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