Ted Cruz faces furious calls to apologise for pushing Paul Pelosi attack conspiracy theories: ‘You’re disgusting’

The Texas Senator was shamed online for sharing tweets that seemed to support a conspiracy theory about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband

Johanna Chisholm
Tuesday 01 November 2022 17:15 GMT
Gavin Newsom accuses Fox News of 'aiding and abetting' Paul Pelosi attackers

Ted Cruz faced a barrage of demands to issue an apology or retract a tweet after he appeared to promote a GOP conspiracy theory about the attack on Paul Pelosi.

Despite offering his “prayers” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her 82-year-old husband on Friday, by Monday the Texas senator was retweeting posts from unreliable sources that seemed to promote falsehoods and innuendo about the suspected attacker, 42-year-old David DePape.

In one of the posts, Sen Cruz reshared a screenshot from alt-right activist Matt Walsh, in which he pushed back against the information that has been widely reported from reliable news outlets that Mr DePape had recently become engaged in posting on far-right political blogs.

In their posts, Mr Walsh, and seemingly Sen Cruz, seemed to both challenge the notion that Mr DePape was engaged in militant right-wing conspiracies, with the former writing: “I don’t know what the h*** happened at Nancy Pelosi’s house and I suspect none of us will ever know for sure. But I do know that trying to paint a hippie nudist from Berkeley as some kind of militant right winger is absurd and will always be absurd.”

Mr Cruz, appearing to agree with Mr Walsh’s conclusions, later quote tweeted a screenshot of the right-wing activist’s thread with the caption: “truth”.

In the hours after Mr Cruz shared those tweets, and in the light of the criminal complaint released from US District Court in Northern California on Monday that immediately debunked the two men’s theory as it clearly laid out how Mr DePape had politically motivated intentions, some began calling for the Republican lawmaker to respond with an apology.

“Where’s @tedcruz‘s apology?” asked one Twitter user while linking out to the arresting documents.

“You want to amend your lies and conspiracy theories, @tedcruz ? You owe Paul Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi, the Pelosi family and America an apology for your disgusting tweets,” tweeted another user, while highlighting a section of the criminal complaint where Mr DePape stated he intended to break “her kneecaps” if he got a hold of Ms Pelosi and she lied to him.

“@elonmusk , @tedcruz , @DonaldJTrumpJr , @HouseGOP who spread the misinformation all owe the Pelosi family, Twitter, and the American public (who look to them as leaders) an apology. You’re disgusting,” wrote another online commenter, referring to how Elon Musk, Donald Trump Jr and members of the GOP party had reupped and promoted unsubstantiated theories about the violent assault on the House Speaker’s husband in the immediate days after the attack.

Mr Cruz joins a chorus of other GOP aligned figures and elected officials who have begun trafficking in conspiracy theories about the attack on Mr Pelosi rather than acknowledge the facts relayed in the arresting documents from state and federal authorities.

On Tuesday, Marjorie Taylor Greene similarly stood her ground in pivoting the conversation away from the statements issued by Mr DePape, where he allegedly admitted to attacking Mr Pelosi “with intent to retaliate against” the speaker “on account of the performance of official duties” and also viewed Ms Pelosi “as the ‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party.”

“David Depape was an illegal alien that overstayed his visa & should have been deported. If Paul Pelosi was a 2A supporting gun owner he could have shot the man that was trying to kill him,” tweeted the Republican lawmaker, one day after she’d defended Elon Musk for posting about a conspiracy theory that falsely claimed that Mr Pelosi knew his attacker.

“It’s dangerous Democrat policies that led to Paul Pelosi being attacked,” she added, seeming to ignore the reporting that showed that Mr DePape had begun trafficking in right-wing conspiracy-fuelled blogs some time before Friday’s attack.

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