Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz has provoked fresh anger at the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump after tweeting about breast milk during Wednesday’s session rather than paying attention to proceedings.
While the House Democrat impeachment managers were presenting harrowing video evidence illustrating just how close a pro-Trump mob had come to tracking down lawmakers including Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Mitt Romney, Mr Cruz was apparently perusing an article from The Washington Examiner on his phone about a British hospital moving to ensure more inclusive language is used in discussions of maternity.
The Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has moved to drop terms considered to be trans-exclusionary such as “breast milk” to avoid causing unnecessary offence, directing its midwives to refer to “human milk” and “chest milk” instead.
Apparently bored of hearing about the very real threat to his fellow legislators’ lives on 6 January, Mr Cruz tweeted: “Orwellian: The words ‘breast milk’ are now forbidden. Because science.”
Among those most infuriated by the post was CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who commented: “Orwellian? Sir, you are at a trial that you’re not even paying attention to, where you are saying that what happened didn’t really happen, because you don’t want to have to deal with the reality.
“That, my brother, is Orwellian. Breast milk, why is that on your mind? Focus, Ted. If you got off Trump’s teat a little bit, maybe you wouldn’t be thinking about breast milk so much. Do your damn job! If Trump had his way, maybe you, but certainly not all of you, would’ve made it out of there.”
Senator Cruz, who joined 44 Republicans in voting that Mr Trump’s impeachment trial was unconstitutional on Tuesday because the ex-president has now left office, was instrumental in whipping up support for the baseless “Stop the Steal” narrative pushed by President Trump in objection to his crushing election defeat to Joe Biden.
Both he and the likes of Missouri Republican Josh Hawley had pledged to challenge the certification of the Electoral College results in the Senate just prior to the explosion of chaos that erupted outside Congress a month ago.
Mr Hawley has likewise subsequently stirred ire by spending his time at the trial contemptuously ignoring proceedings by reviewing paperwork instead.
This is not the first time Mr Cruz’s social media habits have got him into trouble.
On 11 September 2017, the former Republican presidential candidate was forced to explain why his account had “liked” a graphic pornographic tweet from @SexuallPosts.
The senator explained at the time: “There are a number of people on the team that have access to the account and it appears that someone inadvertently hit the like button.”
Without overtly denying having clicked the approval button himself, he added: “It was a staffing issue, and it was inadvertent, it was a mistake, it was not a deliberate action.”
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