Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) punched back at MSNBC host Brian Williams on Friday after the journalist labeled him "Kremlin Cruz" for recently criticizing an American military advertisement.
What is the background?
Veterans condemned Cruz this week after he mocked an advertisement for the U.S. military. Cruz was responding to a TikTok video that juxtaposed a U.S. military ad and a video of Russian soldiers.
"Holy crap. Perhaps a woke, emasculated military is not the best idea..." Cruz wrote in a tweet that went viral.
Critics falsely claimed that Cruz's response meant he was showing preference for Russian soldiers over Americans. "Ted Cruz attacks a US Army soldier for telling her story, says he prefers Russians. Because Ted Cruz is a sedition-loving traitor," a liberal veteran advocacy group said.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), herself a veteran, responded, "Holy crap. Perhaps a U.S. Senator shouldn't suggest that the *Russian* military is better than the American military that protected him from an insurrection he helped foment?"
What did Brian Williams say?
The disgraced journalist claimed Russia is happy over Cruz's response to the video, suggested Cruz wants to become president of Russia, and assigned Cruz the nickname "Kremlin Cruz."
"By all accounts, Ted Cruz did not like the nickname 'Cancun Cruz,' though he tried joking about it, acting like it didn't matter. He really won't like being called 'Kremlin Cruz' after his latest and remarkably stupid lapse in judgement," Williams said.
Before playing the video, Williams added, "Remember as you watch this, just how much Ted Cruz dreams of being president of a country some day — perhaps not this country."
After playing the video, Williams said, "The Russians already reach deep into our society every day. Their disinformation is all over our media already. And it quietly tears us apart. Imagine how happy it makes them to have yet another advocate among Republican members of the Senate."
How did Cruz respond?
In a lengthy response, Cruz noted that Williams was fired by NBC News for lying, and thoroughly rebuked Williams for suggesting he has a fondness for Russia.
"Is there a more pitiful example of corrupt corporate media than Brian Williams?" Cruz began. "He was fired as the anchor of NBC Nightly News for 'misrepresenting events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003.' Now, he's a left-wing hack at MSNBC."
"Now, he's throwing a hissy fit that I criticized the ridiculously woke video that the Biden admin put out," he continued. "Williams accidentally told the truth, when he describes it as 'a video meant to diminish the U.S. military.' TRUE. That's the problem. (The Pentagon put it out.)."
Cruz went on to say:
Now, with his trademark ignorant snark, he's dubbed me "Kremlin Cruz." Three problems: (1) I hate communists, my family was imprisoned & tortured by communists, and Brian is a shameless apologist for Russian (and Chinese and Cuban) communists. (2) I was arguing that our military needs to be able to kick the ass of Russian soldiers. It's Brian & his lefty comrades that are working relentlessly to diminish the effectiveness of the U.S. military—the finest fighting force on the face of the planet. And (3) JUST THIS WEEK Biden gave Putin a multi-billion-dollar gift, when he waived mandatory U.S. sanctions to allow Russia to build Nord Stream 2, a massive natural gas pipeline to Germany. Who authored the sanctions that STOPPED NS2? That would be me.
"Cover that, Brian. But that would be actual news, something you don't do. Use your condescending wit to call Biden 'Kremlin Joe'—he's the one illegally giving billions to Putin. But your corporate overlords wouldn't let you," Cruz concluded. "Congrats, Brian. You are Pravda."