Trump: Cruz ‘worse than a puppet’
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE accused Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz: 'Of course' it's not appropriate to ask China to investigate Bidens Sunday Show Preview: Trump's allies and administration defend decision on Syria O'Rourke raises .5 million in third quarter MORE of being a puppet of GOP bosses in a statement released after the Texas senator crushed him in Wisconsin’s primary on Tuesday.

“Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet — he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump,” the Trump campaign said in a statement given to Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.

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Trump did not congratulate Cruz on his win in Wisconsin, something customary on primary nights. He also did not appear in public, a departure for the GOP front-runner who has usually held press events the nights of primaries and caucuses.

Neither Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski nor spokeswoman Hope Hicks would return calls, emails, or messages on Tuesday night. Nor would they provide the statement tweeted by Costa.

And Trump's own Twitter feed was uncharacteristically quiet more than an hour after Cruz's victory was projected.

The Trump campaign portrayed Cruz's win — expected to be by more than 10 points — as illegitimate and unfair. He also accused Cruz of illegally coordinating with supportive super-PACs, but he did not provide any evidence to support the charge.

“Lyin' Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him,” the Trump campaign statement read. 

“Not only was he propelled by the anti-Trump Super PAC's [sic] spending countless millions of dollars on false advertising against Mr. Trump, but he [Cruz] was coordinating with his own Super PAC's [sic] (which is illegal) who totally control him.”

The Trump campaign said at the end of its statement released to Costa that it maintained “total confidence that Mr. Trump will go on to win in New York, where he holds a substantial lead in all the polls, and beyond.”

The statement from Cruz reflected a GOP race that has grown nastier than ever.

Even when Trump lost the Iowa caucuses to Cruz on Feb. 1 he gave what many observers described as a gracious concession speech, saying, “I want to congratulate Ted and I want to congratulate all of the incredible candidates.”

But on Tuesday night after losing Wisconsin, Trump declined to give even a hint of a congratulatory message to Cruz.