Former CIA head John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanThe biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community Sunday shows: Health officials anticipate vaccine distribution, warn of worsening pandemic MORE and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate committee advances Biden's DHS pick despite Republican pushback Google suspends donations to lawmakers who voted against certifying election The Hill's Morning Report - Biden argues for legislative patience, urgent action amid crisis MORE (R-Texas) traded jabs on Twitter on Friday over the killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

Fakhrizadeh was shot and killed by “armed terrorist elements” while in a vehicle in the town of Absard and died in the hospital after doctors were unable to save him, according to state media. Several Iranian officials blamed Israel for the killing on Friday, and Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE has yet to respond. 

Brennan, who served as CIA director from 2013 to 2017, tweeted on Friday that the killing was a “criminal act” and “highly reckless.” 

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He added that Iran should wait for President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Should deficits matter any more? Biden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate MORE to be sworn in, saying it would be wise to “wait for the return of responsible American leadership" and to “resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits.” 

He added that the killing is a “flagrant violation of international law” and could “encourage more governments to carry out lethal attacks against foreign officials.” 

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Cruz then responded to Brennan, saying it is “bizarre to see a former head of the CIA consistently side with Iranian zealots who chant ‘Death to America.’ And reflexively condemn Israel. Does Joe Biden agree?” 

Brennan then responded, saying, “Your lawless attitude & simple-minded approach to serious national security matters demonstrate that you are unworthy to represent the good people of Texas.”  

The former CIA head then followed up with a series of jabs at Cruz, calling him a “poor Senator and a bad lawyer.” 

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“My commitment to Israel's security & my efforts to counter Iran’s malign activities are well documented throughout my 33 years of national security work serving Republican & Democratic Administrations,” he said.

“Aside from his tiresome rhetoric, what has Senator Cruz ever done?” he added.

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Cruz responded on Saturday afternoon. 

“Gosh, I touched a nerve. Facts matter,” he tweeted. “FACT 1: you’ve admitted, in 1976 you voted for the Communist candidate for President because, I guess, Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterWhy Joe Biden should pardon Donald Trump Trump's pardons harshly criticized by legal experts Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official MORE wasn’t liberal enough for you.” 

“FACT 2: you gave $150 Bn to Ayatollah Khamenei, knowing it would be used to kill Americans,” he added. 

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The New York Times reported on Friday that Fakhrizadeh was believed to be leading Iran's nuclear program for two decades and kept working after the military effort quietly ended in the early 2000s.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday that his first priority was the “definitive punishment of the perpetrators and those who ordered it,” The Associated Press reported. 

The alleged assassination comes toward the end of President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' MORE’s time in office, as he was recently dissuaded from striking the nation to halt its military program. It could also make it more difficult for Biden to reenter the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump withdrew from two years ago.