CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin said Ted CruzTed CruzPentagon's suppressed waste report only tip of the inefficient machine Markos Moulitsas: Kill the filibuster Ark., Texas senators put cheese dip vs. queso to the test MORE's blaming of a CNN report for the rumor that primary rival Ben Carson was dropping out of the race was “BS.”
“That accurate report was disseminated on television and CNN digital, and that was that. That was that," she said.
“Congressman, forgive me, but I’m going to call out BS if I hear BS, and that was BS,” she said to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who was her guest on the show at the time.
The Cruz campaign immediately pushed back against Baldwin on social media, saying they are not questioning the veracity of the report and only disseminated to staffers what CNN reported.
“[Brooke Baldwin] I think you misunderstand,” rapid response director Brian Phillips said in a tweet. “Cruz is saying CNN reported a true and accurate story. And that’s what we sent to our team.”
“We never sent anything saying he was dropping out,” Phillips said in a separate tweet.
Cruz apologized on Tuesday for spreading the rumor before the Iowa caucuses, which he won.
“Last night when our political team saw the CNN post saying that Dr. Carson was not carrying on to New Hampshire and South Carolina, our campaign updated grassroots leaders just as we would with any breaking news story,” Cruz said in a statement.
"That's fair game," he added. "What the team then should have done was send around the follow-up statement from the Carson campaign clarifying that he was indeed staying in the race when that came out."
“That was a mistake from our end, and for that I apologize to Dr. Carson.”
He said no action would be taken against staffers.
CNN reported on Monday before the Iowa caucuses that Carson would return home for several days and then go to Washington, D.C., for the National Prayer Breakfast.
“We should say that our Chris Moody is breaking this news, that Ben Carson is going to go back to Florida to his home, regardless of how he does tonight here in Iowa, he’s going to go there for several days,” CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash said on air at the time.
“And then afterwards, he’s not going to go to South Carolina, he’s not going to go to New Hampshire, he’s going to come to Washington, D.C.,” she added.
CNN said it never reported Carson was dropping out of the race.
"Senator Cruz's claims about CNN are false," the network said in a statement to The Hill. "At no point did the network indicate Dr. Carson would suspend his campaign."
"Our correspondent reported the information provided to him by the Carson campaign," the statement continued. "Dr. Carson's staff informed CNN that he would return home to take a 'deep breath' before resuming his activities on the trail. That information was reported accurately by CNN across TV and digital."