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Cruz to Trump: My father is not linked to JFK assassination

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There’s seemingly no end to the speculation surrounding John F. Kennedy’s murder.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz responded Tuesday to allegations that his father, Rafael Cruz, was somehow linked to Lee Harvey Oswald.

Earlier that morning, in an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump criticized Rafael Cruz for campaigning on behalf of his son in Indiana and asked, “What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death?”

“There’s a whole thing, and, you know, his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being – uh, you know shot. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous,” Trump said on the morning show. “What is this? Right prior to his being shot and nobody even brings it up. I mean they don’t even talk about that. That was reported and nobody talks about it. But I think it’s horrible.”

During a news conference later Thursday, Cruz dismissed Trump’s allegations concerning Kennedy’s death in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

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Ted Cruz during a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, May 2, 2016. (Photo: Michael Conroy/AP)

“Donald Trump went on national television and attacked my father,” Cruz told reporters. “Donald Trump alleges that my dad was involved in assassinating JFK. Now let’s be clear. This is nuts. This is not a reasonable position. This is just kooky.”

With a heavy dose of sarcasm, Cruz proceeded to “admit” that his father is connected to several other outlandish conspiracy theories.

“And while I’m at it, I guess I should go ahead and admit, yes, my dad killed JFK, he is secretly Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa’s buried in his backyard.”

Cruz’s father has been campaigning for his son among the evangelical community in the conservative state of Indiana. He has implored voters to throw their weight behind his son, the candidate he says stands for the word of God and the Constitution: “The alternative could be the destruction of America.”

Trump has taken exception to the assertion, calling it disgraceful that the elder Cruz is “allowed to say it,” noting that Trump — not Ted Cruz — received the endorsement of influential evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr.

Trump was alluding to a recent National Enquirer cover story with the shocking headline “Ted Cruz Father Linked to JFK Assassination!” The supermarket tabloid accused Cruz’s Cuban-born father of handing out pro-Fidel Castro leaflets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee with Oswald in New Orleans three months before Kennedy’s death — and claimed to have photographic evidence.

During the press conference, Cruz dismissed the National Enquirer as pro-Trump “tabloid trash.”

“But it’s run by his good friend, David Pecker, the CEO, who’s endorsed Donald Trump,” Cruz said. “And so the National Inquirer has become his hit piece that he uses to smear anybody and everybody.”

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Donald Trump at a campaign stop in South Bend, Ind., on May 2, 2016. (Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

Alice Stewart, the communications director for the Cruz campaign, told McClatchy, the publishing company that operates the Miami Herald, that the allegations against Cruz’s father are nothing more than garbage.

“This is another garbage story in a tabloid full of garbage,” she said. “The story is false; that is not Rafael in the picture.”

The Herald notes that Rafael Cruz did support Fidel Castro in overthrowing the Cuban government in the 1950s. He says he did not realize the political leader was a communist at the time and is now strongly opposed to the ideology.

Early Thursday afternoon, Trump said in a statement that Cruz is now a desperate candidate trying to save a failing campaign.

“It is no surprise he has resorted to his usual tactics of over-the-top rhetoric that nobody believes,” the statement reads. “Over the last week, I have watched Lyin’ Ted become more and more unhinged as he is unable to react under the pressure and stress of losing, in all cases by landslides, the last six primary elections — in fact, coming in last place in all but one of them.”

Trump said Cruz’s latest “outburst” proves he does not have the temperament for the presidency.

The Warren Commission report concluded that Oswald murdered Kennedy. Two days after Kennedy’s death, nightclub owner Jack Ruby fatally shot Oswald, who was in police custody, in front of live television cameras.

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