Ted Cruz knocks MSNBC's Brian Williams over 'Kremlin Cruz' label

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' Bob Dole: heroic, prickly and effective Democrats see Christmas goal slipping away MORE (R-Texas) tore into journalist Brian Williams after the MSNBC anchor dubbed the lawmaker "Kremlin Cruz" during a segment last week. 

The dust-up came after Cruz criticized a video put out by the Pentagon telling the story of a recruit who marched for marriage equality before joining the armed forces. The senator called it "woke" and "emasculating" to the U.S. military and shared his comment along with a Russian propaganda video depicting members of its military as strong and masculine. 

Williams called the tweet a "remarkably stupid lapse of judgment" and displayed the nickname "Kremlin Cruz" on an on-air graphic below him as he spoke during the segment on his weeknight show on MSNBC. 

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"Remember as you watch this just how much Ted Cruz dreams of being president of a country someday, perhaps not this country for reasons like this," Williams said. 

Cruz shot back in a string of tweets on Friday.

"Is there a more pitiful example of corrupt corporate media than Brian Williams?" Cruz asked. "Now, he’s throwing a hissy fit that I criticized the ridiculously woke video that the Biden admin put out. Williams accidentally told the truth, when he describes it as 'a video meant to diminish the U.S. military.' TRUE. That’s the problem. (The Pentagon put it out.)." 

The Republican senator also rejected the nickname Williams gave him, saying, "I hate communists, my family was imprisoned & tortured by communists, and Brian is a shameless apologist for Russian (and Chinese and Cuban) communists." 

Cruz said he was instead arguing "that our military needs to be able to kick the ass of Russian soldiers."

"It’s Brian & his lefty comrades that are working relentlessly to diminish the effectiveness of the U.S. military—the finest fighting force on the face of the planet," he added. 

Williams, who stopped hosting "NBC Nightly News" after being suspended for misrepresenting himself, now anchors a large portion of MSNBC's election night and major political event coverage. Cruz, who won reelection to the Senate in 2018, regularly spars with progressives and political enemies on Twitter and is widely expected to consider a run for president in 2024.