Cruz predicts a 'vigorous' confirmation process for Trump nominee who spread conspiracy theories about him

Cruz predicts a 'vigorous' confirmation process for Trump nominee who spread conspiracy theories about him
© Keren Carrion

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDemocratic strategist warns Beto should be ‘careful’ with social media presence Hillary advisers battle over whether she’ll run in 2020 O'Rourke writes blog post describing a literal run from near the capitol to near the White House MORE (R-Texas) said he expects President TrumpDonald John TrumpMichelle Obama says not always easy to live up to "we go high" Georgia certifies elections results in bitterly fought governor's race Trump defends border deployment amid fresh scrutiny MORE's nominee for ambassador to Barbados and other Caribbean nations to face a "vigorous" confirmation process.

"I don't know the fellow. He seems to have unusual views," Cruz said Thursday through an aide, according to the Dallas Morning News.

"I expect he'll have an interesting and vigorous confirmation process."

During the 2016 presidential race, Leandro Rizzuto Jr. spread conspiracy theories about Trump's political opponents, including Cruz, CNN reported earlier this week.


He shared tweets during the GOP primary that claimed Cruz was having an affair and that his wife, Heidi, was leading an effort to merge the governments of the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Another retweet from Rizzuto's account that came on the same day that Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyUtah New Members 2019 The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Leadership elections in Congress | Freshman lawmakers arrive | Trump argues he can restrict reporter access Rick Scott appears with GOP senators, ignores voter fraud question as recount continues MORE ripped then-nominee Trump in a speech showed the former GOP presidential nominee with the word "dumbass" and claimed Romney, a Mormon, "will go to hell."

Trump tapped Rizzuto, a senior executive at Conair, last month to serve as the ambassador to Barbados, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Rizzuto's appointment requires confirmation by the Senate.

A spokesman for Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — White House to 'temporarily reinstate' Acosta's press pass after judge issues order | Graham to take over Judiciary panel | Hand recount for Florida Senate race Veteran political reporter says New Hampshire voters have 'hunger' to moderate political turbulence Majority say Trump should face primary challenge, poll finds MORE (R-Neb.) earlier this week tore into Rizzuto, saying he should "put on his tinfoil hat and visit our office with evidence for his salacious conspiracy theories and cuckoo allegations."

The White House has defended Rizzuto.

Deputy White House press secretary Lindsay Walters said Trump looks forward to his "swift confirmation by the Senate, and is confident he will be a great ambassador," according to the Dallas Morning News.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert on Tuesday dodged questions about Rizzuto when asked about the pick.

"I've not had the opportunity to meet him at this point," she said.

"He hasn't been through the Senate yet, hasn't been through confirmation. And when there is a nominee who's named, we try not to comment on that because that person is a nominee."