Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) publicly admonished Hollywood star Jim Carrey for targeting the Covington Catholic High School students with his latest bizarre painting, and referring to them as "baby snakes."
Carrey offered his criticism of the Kentucky high school students who have been smeared by the media over their interaction with a Native American activist who accused them of racism.
Carrey referred to the students as "baby snakes" in a tweet publishing his painting to his 18.2 million followers.
Cruz responded by defending the students and pointing out that the mainstream media narrative had been undone by other videos, showing that they had been the victims of racial epithets and other insults.
"Just sad," said Cruz in his response. "Rich & powerful celebrity uses his fame to pick on teenagers."
"So much partisan hate," he added. "He doesn't care that the full video showed these high school students as victims of harassment, not the other way around."
"Jim, insult me, insult Trump, fine," Cruz added. "But leave the kids alone."
Since the original video went viral, more facts have been revealed about the altercation, and the accuser, Nathan Phillips. The controversy has become a flashpoint between those wanting to criticize the president and his supporters, and those accusing the media of left-wing bias.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated that the president might invite the students to the White House as a show of support, but if they did, the visit would happen after the partial government shutdown was over.