CNN slams Cruz over Cancun for criticism of reporter in Afghanistan

CNN ripped Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' MORE (R-Texas) on Monday for his criticism of its chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward, who is reporting from Kabul after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

The network referenced Cruz's trip to Cancun earlier this year during a terrible winter storm in Texas in lambasting the senator for his criticism of Ward.

"Rather than running off to Cancun in tough times, [CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward] is risking her life to tell the world what's happening," the network stated in response to a tweet sent by Cruz earlier that day. "That’s called bravery. Instead of RTing a conspiracy theorist’s misleading soundbite, perhaps your time would be better spent helping Americans in harm’s way."

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Ward, who was wearing conservative, traditional Islamic clothing while interviewing people in the streets of Kabul, had come under some criticism from conservatives for selectively edited remarks that seemed to suggest she was not being critical of the Taliban.

In his tweet, the senator from Texas had shared with his followers a clip of Ward's report from Kabul that aired Monday morning and asked: "Is there an enemy of America for whom CNN WON’T cheerlead?" 

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The eight-second clip Cruz posted was part of a nearly three-minute segment during which Ward reported on the Taliban's takeover of the Afghanistan capital city. At one point during her report, Ward described the scene outside the U.S. Consulate in Kabul saying "they’re chanting Death to America but they seem friendly at the same time. It's utterly bizarre." 

While some conservatives used that bite to take aim at Ward's reporting, the conservative site Hot Air noted that Ward is a veteran reporter who has offered a real take of what is happening in Kabul.

"Watch the full segment below and you’ll see that she’s not whitewashing the Taliban," it wrote. "She makes a point of showing how one group of them forced her to 'stand aside' because she’s female. She tells the anchors that fewer women are on the streets of Kabul today and that those who are out and about are wearing burqas, obvious evidence of fear of the new government. She’s unsparing about the chaos unleashed by Biden’s terrible withdrawal plans too, noting that there’s no plan in place to evacuate American allies trapped in the city and that U.S. troops are barely able to keep order at the airport."

CNN's rebuke of Cruz made reference to an episode earlier this year when he was photographed at an airport flying to Cancun as his home state of Texas was experiencing widespread power outages following a major storm that rocked the state. 

Cruz later apologized for the episode, calling it a mistake. 

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Kabul's fall has led to a sense of panic and dread on the streets, several media outlets have reported, especially among women.

One Taliban fighter who agreed to speak with Ward told her "America already spent enough time in Afghanistan," and said of U.S. forces:"They need to leave, they already lost lots of time and lots of money." 

President BidenJoe BidenHow 'Buy American', other pro-US policies can help advocates pass ambitious climate policies Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Biden backtracks on Taiwan Photos of the Week: Manchin protestor, Paris Hilton and a mirror room MORE has faced widespread criticism from congressional Republicans and several major news outlets over his administration's handling of the crisis in Afghanistan.