Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE on Tuesday morning linked rival Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Overnight Health Care: Democratic bill would require insurance to cover OTC birth control | House Dems vote to overturn ban on fetal tissue research | New rule aims to expand health choices for small businesses MORE's father to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who shot President John F. Kennedy.
 
During a phone interview on "Fox and Friends," Trump mentioned a tabloid story claiming Rafael Cruz was with Oswald before the assassination.
 
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"His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald being shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous," Trump said. "Nobody even brings it up; they don't even talk about that.
 
"What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death, before the shooting?" Trump asked.
 
The National Enquirer published images last month of what it said showed Rafael Cruz and Oswald passing out leaflets in 1963 in New Orleans, a few months before the JFK assassination in Dallas.
 
"It is garbage," Cruz communications director Alice Stewart told The Hill in an email Tuesday. The campaign also called Trump "detached from reality." 
 
Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson on Tuesday defended Trump bringing up the claim, noting the story got mainstream coverage from the Miami Herald.
 
"Really, it was just a shock and awe that it showed up in the Miami Herald," Pierson said during an interview with MSNBC's Steve Kornacki. 
 
The newspaper noted the claim has not been corroborated and that Cruz's campaign denied it.
 
"Is there some suggestion, though, that his father had something to do with the Kennedy assassination?" Kornacki asked.
 
"Oh, I don't know, and I think that's why it was shocking and I think why Mr. Trump mentioned it, when the Miami Herald reported it, so I guess they're looking into that," she added.

Cruz's campaign dismissed the tabloid story as "garbage" last month, with Stewart telling McClatchy, "The story is false; that is not Rafael in the picture."

Trump was pushing back on Rafael Cruz's call for Christians to support his son in the Indiana primary on Tuesday, which Trump called "disgraceful."
 
— Updated at 9:50 a.m.