Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has fired his national spokesman after he posted a video that falsely claimed to show rival candidate Marco Rubio dismissing the Bible.
Mr Cruz asked for the resignation of Rick Tyler after he posted the video on Twitter on Sunday. The clip shows Mr Rubio walking past Mr Cruz’s father, Rafael, and a staff member reading the Bible. Subtitles on the video claim Mr Rubio says to them: “Got a good book there, not many answers in it.”
In a corrected version of the video tweeted by Mr Rubio's communications director, Alex Conant, the subtitles quote Mr Rubio as saying: “Got a good book there, all the answers are in there.”
Mr Tyler had apologised in a Facebook post, blaming the unclear audio.
“I've deleted the post because I would not knowingly post a false story,” he wrote. “But the fact remains that I did post it when I should have checked its accuracy first.“
Mr Cruz, speaking to reporters on Monday, said he had spent spent the morning investigating the incident and plans to conduct his campaign with “the very highest standards and integrity.”
Mr Rubio has accepted the apology, but added that the video seems to be part of a pattern and that “we're now at a point where we start asking about accountability.”
This is not the first time the Cruz campaign has been accused of deception. Earlier, it used a doctored photo of Mr Rubio shaking President Barack Obama’s hand to accuse him of supporting the president’s policies.
Mr Rubio narrowly beat Mr Cruz in the South Carolina primary last weekend, taking second place behind frontrunner Donald Trump.
Mr Trump took no time to jump on the controversy, tweeting: “Wow, Ted Cruz falsely suggested Marco Rubio mocked the Bible and was just forced to fire his Communications Director. More dirty tricks!”