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Cruz pranked over Cancun trip at Senate gym: report

Texas Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUS has seen 45 mass shootings in the past month The Hill's 12:30 Report: Nearly half of U.S. adults partially or fully vaccinated Cruz no longer wearing mask in Capitol MORE (R) was reportedly pranked at the Senate gym for his trip to Cancun during the Texas winter storm that shut off power in much of his state.

NBC News reported that according to two people familiar with the situation, the lockers in the Senate gym Wednesday morning were lined with memes showing Cruz returning to the Houston airport from Mexico, wearing a short-sleeve gray polo shirt, jeans and Texas-flag mask. 

The memes Wednesday reportedly said, “Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!” meaning, “Welcome Back, Ted!” 

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NBC reported that the photo of Cruz in the meme was manipulated to make it look like he was dragging his suitcase through snow while holding a tropical cocktail in the other hand. 

The meme also reportedly showed Cruz walking toward Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSirota: Biden has not fulfilled campaign promise of combating union-busting tactics Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents Progressives put Democrats on defense MORE (I-Vt.) presented in the viral pose with his arms and legs crossed at President BidenJoe BidenFour members of Sikh community among victims in Indianapolis shooting Overnight Health: NIH reverses Trump's ban on fetal tissue research | Biden investing .7B to fight virus variants | CDC panel to meet again Friday on J&J On The Money: Moderates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats | Justice Dept. sues Trump ally Roger Stone for unpaid taxes MORE’s inauguration. 

It was not clear who put the memes up in the locker room, though NBC noted that the gym is only used by current and former senators. 

The two sources told NBC that the memes were taken down later Wednesday.

An aide for the Senate Rules Committee told NBC Friday that it had not received a complaint about the prank. 

The Hill has reached out to the committee and Cruz’s office for comment. 

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Cruz was first photographed last Wednesday boarding a plane to Cancun with his family, leaving behind the freezing temperatures and heavy snow that caused the deaths of nearly 80 people across several states, including Texas. 

Cruz returned to Texas the following day after receiving heavy backlash from fellow lawmakers and constituents. The GOP senator upon returning admitted to reporters that his trip was a “mistake.” 

“In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it,” he said at the time. “I was trying to be a dad. And all of us have made decisions — when you got two girls who have been cold for two days and haven’t had heat or power and they’re saying, ‘Hey look, we don’t have school, why don’t we go. Let’s get out of here.’” 

Earlier this week, a Dallas party store unveiled a piñata of Cruz to its latest collection, showing the senator with his Texas flag face mask and wearing a gray shirt and jeans while carrying his suitcase and passport.