Donald Trump has accused Ted Cruz, his main rival in the Republican nomination contest, of “illegally” stealing the Iowa caucus.
The tweet, which appeared on the tycoon’s official Twitter page, said: “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he illegally stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong any why he got more votes than anticipated. Bad!”
The billionaire then hastily deleted his tweet, only to repost his words after correcting an error and taking out "illegally".
The Texas maverick Ted Cruz dealt Mr Trump’s campaign a blow on Monday in a surprise victory over his Republican rival – many had expected the billionaire former Apprentice star to come out on top.
Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
Mr Cruz emerged with 28 per cent of the Republican vote while Mr Trump took 24 per cent. Florida senator Marco Rubio also had a strong night, snapping at Trump’s heels and running a close third.
"Tonight is a victory for courageous conservatives," Mr Cruz declared, to great applause, as he railed against Washington, lobbyists and the media.
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
Mr Trump, who in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks called for a database to track Muslims living in the Unites States, continued to hurl abuse at Mr Cruz on his Twitter account, adding: “During peacetime of the Iowa caucus, Cruz put out at a relast that Ben Carson was quitting the race, and to a caucus (or vote) for Cruz.
He added: “Many people voted for Cruz over Carson because Cruz is a fraud. Also, Cruz sent out a voter violation certificate to thousands of voters.
During primetime of the Iowa Caucus, Cruz put out a release that @RealBenCarson was quitting the race, and to caucus (or vote) for Cruz.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
Many people voted for Cruz over Carson because of this Cruz fraud. Also, Cruz sent out a VOTER VIOLATION certificate to thousands of voters.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
The Voter Violation certificate gave poor marks to the unsuspecting voter(grade of F) and told them to clear it up by voting for Cruz. Fraud— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
And finally, Cruz strongly told thousands of caucusgoers (voters) that Trump was strongly in favor of ObamaCare and "choice" - a total lie!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2016
The tweets are a marked contrast from the morning after the Iowa vote, in which Mr Trump offered his congratulations to his rival.
Speaking at the Sheraton hotel, he added: "I'm really honoured. And I want to congratulate Ted, and I want to congratulate all of the incredible candidates, including Mike Huckabee, who has become a really good friend of mine."Reuse content