Donald Trump’s presidential campaign on Tuesday falsely attributed a scathing quote about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to a former Republican senator.
Mediate reported that a tweet from campaign social media director Dan Scavino quoted former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) saying of Cruz, “He is without a doubt, one of the most dishonest people in DC.” Trump then quoted Scavino’s tweet and added, “Unreal! Highly respected Senator Tom Coburn said this about Cruz.”
Both tweets have been deleted.
Coburn later told the Washington Examiner that the quote attributed to him was “an absolute fabrication.”
“It’s an absolute fabrication. I’ve never said that, period,” Coburn said in a phone interview with the publication. “It’s unfortunate he would use my name to say something dishonest. It’s a total fabrication.”
“To me, it’s more of loose play with the truth and loose play with the words,” he added.
Trump also invoked Coburn’s name to call Cruz a “dishonest” person twice Tuesday at an event in Beaufort and North Augusta, South Carolina, according to CNN.
“The senator just came out, the senator from Oklahoma who is a very highly respected senator, he said he’s one of the most dishonest people he’s ever worked with,” Trump said. “That’s a hell of a statement. I never even heard a statement like that.”
Those comments came a few hours after he and his campaign deleted the tweets, according to CNN’s Jeremy Diamond.