Cruz defends calling McConnell a liar
© Greg Nash

Republican presidential candidate Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown O'Rourke's mom discusses past Dem votes after labeled 'lifelong Republican' by son Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown MORE is doubling down on calling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGraham: I hope Dems 'get their ass kicked' for conduct around Kavanaugh Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' MORE (R-Ky.) a liar.

“Every word I said there is true and accurate. No one disputed a word I said,” Cruz said during an MSNBC town hall in Buffalo, N.Y.


Cruz raised eyebrows last year when he accused McConnell of lying about a deal to move the Export-Import Bank reauthorization in exchange for support on fast-track trade legislation.

He said at the time that McConnell had told him in a private conversation that there wasn't a deal.

"Well, we now know that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment, that he is willing to say things that he knows are false," he said at the time.

The blistering floor speech sparked fierce backlash from his Republican colleagues, some of whom questioned if Cruz had broken Senate rules with his speech.

The Texas senator defended his actions on Thursday.

"The reaction in the Senate is, 'How dare you say that out loud?' They’re not upset that somebody lied to them,” he said.

Cruz isn't a stranger to antagonizing his Republican colleagues, who are still quick to cite his role in the 2013 shutdown of the federal government.

Only two senators have endorsed Cruz for president. Another, Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeIMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach MORE (R-Ariz.), said this week he would support former Ohio Gov. John Kasich over his colleague or Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE.

Cruz, however, brushed aside the notion that he wouldn't be able to work with a Republican-controlled Congress if he wins the White House.

“I think I’ll be able to work very, very well with Republican leadership, partially for focusing on issues that bring us together,” he said during the MSNBC town hall.