In an appearance this morning on the Fox News morning show “Fox & Friends,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump voiced a lament about media under-coverage of a certain matter. At issue was Rafael Cruz, the father of presidential rival Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. “And, you know, his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being, you know, shot. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. I mean they don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it,” Trump told the crew on “Fox & Friends.”
All these outlets are linking to the “Fox & Friends” video.
The Trump claim rests on a story by the National Enquirer alleging some kind of a link between Rafael Cruz and Lee Harvey Oswald. “The ENQUIRER has the disturbing photographic evidence that was buried in secret U.S. government files, with Rafael Cruz, now 77, palling around with the man who murdered America’s 35th president!” reads a tease for the story on the tabloid’s website. Sounds perfectly preposterous, or, as Cruz said in a press conference today, “nuts.” “I guess I should go ahead and admit: Yes, my dad killed JFK, he is secretly Elvis, and Jimmy Hoffa is buried in his backyard,” said Cruz, whose citation of the story has helped set fire to it. It’s well-documented that Trump is buddies with National Enquirer chief executive David Pecker, and that the tab has published stories favorable to Trump.
That Trump felt comfy surfacing the JFK conspiracy theory on “Fox & Friends” stands to reason: For all the talk of Trump’s favorable treatment elsewhere on Fox News or his ’round-the-clock coverage on CNN or the chummy chats he has enjoyed on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “Fox & Friends” remains his media home base. He had a weekly Monday morning appointment on the show for years until his presidential kickoff, at which point the chats just shifted to a more episodic schedule. Business as usual has prevailed, as the co-hosts continue to nod at the insane statements that issue from Trump’s mouth. In 2013, for instance, there was no challenge when Trump endorsed the death penalty for NSA leaker Edward Snowden. And today, there was minimal resistance when Trump invoked the National Enquirer in a phone interview. A transcript:
TRUMP: And, you know, his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being, you know, shot. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. I mean they don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it. But I think it’s horrible. I think it’s absolutely horrible that a man can go and do that, what he’s saying there.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Right. There was a picture out there that reportedly shows Rafael Cruz standing with Lee Harvey Oswald —
TRUMP: I mean what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death, before the shooting? It’s horrible.
Guess how Kilmeade tacked away from the National Enquirer craziness! With these words: “Well, one thing I don’t think you think is horrible is Rasmussen came out with a poll. The presumptive nominee — it seems to be Hillary Clinton. If you both stay on a roll, you’ll be head to head shortly. And right now Rasmussen in terms of a popular poll, has you up by two points. That is a dramatic shift. What’s behind that? I know you’re happy about the number, but what do you think the reason is?”
Trump said that he’s looking to make America great again.