Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Saturday that he asked the Pentagon for answers about Jade Helm 15, a military training program that has sparked conspiracy theories about a possible military takeover of Texas, Bloomberg Politics reported.
The 2016 presidential candidate told Bloomberg during the South Carolina Republican Party’s annual convention that his office had been “assured that it is a military training exercise.” But, he added, he also gets where the conspiracy theorists are coming from.
“You know I understand the concern that’s been raised by a lot of citizens about Jade Helm,” Cruz told Bloomberg. “It’s a question I’m getting a lot. And I think part of the reason is, we have seen for six years a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens and that produces fear. When you see a federal government that is attacking our free speech rights, our religious liberty rights, our Second Amendment rights. That produces distrust as to government.”
Cruz’s comments came after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered the state guard to monitor the military’s activities after the conspiracy theorists raised concerns.
Cruz told Bloomberg he has “a great deal of faith and confidence” in the governor.
Bloomberg also reported another prominent Republican and potential presidential contender was less concerned.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Bloomberg on Saturday that he was unaware of any conspiracy theories or fear surrounding Jade Helm 15.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has also announced a run for president, said on April 21 he would “look at” the program, saying he wasn’t “sure about exactly what is going on with that.”
Watch the video below, courtesy of David Weigel’s YouTube channel: