Cruz: 'Tom Brady was framed'
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Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzMore than 10,000 migrants await processing under bridge in Texas Senators slow Biden with holds at Pentagon, State The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE (R-Texas) poked fun at Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAttorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports MORE's use of private email by suggesting she was responsible for the New England Patriots' under-inflated footballs.

"Let me start by saying — Tom Brady was framed," the presidential candidate said during a weekend stop in Massachusetts. "Now I'm not willing to pander on much, but on that ... Tom Brady was framed."

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"And I will say this: I have it on good authority that Hillary Clinton did it. Why do you think she deleted her emails?" Cruz joked.

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner, has been dogged by questions about her use of a private email account for official business during her four-year tenure as secretary of State.

She announced in March that she turned over around 30,000 emails for archiving, while deleting another 31,000 deemed personal. Republicans have seized on her use of the private email account to question her honesty and truthfulness.

The increasingly crowded GOP presidential field has frequently dished up jokes at Clinton's expense. 

In April, for example, Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment Masks and vaccines: What price freedom? MORE (R-Ky.) said Clinton needed one campaign plane just "for her baggage."

Cruz made the Brady joke before a crowd of hundreds of voters in the Bay State at the home of state Rep. Jim Lyons (R) on Saturday, according to the Boston Herald. After the event, Cruz was reportedly headed with his wife, Heidi, to her class reunion at Harvard Business School.

The NFL suspended Brady, the Patriots' star quarterback, for four games after the league's investigation released last month found he was "generally aware" footballs had been under-inflated to give the team an advantage leading up to this year's AFC Championship game.