Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE on Monday continued to defend an unflattering photo he shared on Twitter last week of GOP presidential rival Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCornyn campaign, Patton Oswalt trade jabs over comedian's support for Senate candidate MJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Liberal survey: Sanders cruising, Buttigieg rising MORE's wife, saying it was an example of "counterpunching."

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"Frankly, all I’m doing is counterpunching what he did,” Trump said on “Fox and Friends,” continuing to claim that there are links between Cruz and the anti-Trump super-PAC behind an earlier ad featuring his wife Melania posing nude from a 2000 British GQ photoshoot.

"He sent the photo out, as sure as you're sitting there. He knew about it. Somebody even said he's the one that bought the copyrights from GQ. Now we'll find out who bought the copyrights from GQ. But he knew about it at a minimum," Trump said. "Let's not be naive, folks."

Cruz has repeatedly denied any connection to Make America Awesome, the anti-Trump super-PAC behind the Melania ad, and Trump has not offered evidence connecting the two. Super-PACs are barred from directly coordinating with a campaign.

Meanwhile, Trump on Monday also sought to deflect charges from Cruz that the businessman and his "henchmen" were behind a tabloid article in the National Enquirer last week alleging extramarital affairs.

"I had nothing to do with the National Enquirer. I knew nothing about it. I just saw it yesterday for the first time," Trump insisted on Fox.

Trump then pivoted to push a Daily Beast story from last week suggesting that allies of former Republican presidential candidate Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDems plot aggressive post-Mueller moves, beginning with McGahn Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Cuban negotiator says Trump's efforts to destabilize Cuba's government will fail MORE peddled the rumors, with Trump calling it "a pretty conclusive story."

This report was updated at 8:24 a.m.