"I am not going to call him Lyin' Ted anymore, but he did sign the pledge and it was pretty definitive. He isn't a team player,” Trump said, according to the Republicans who attended and spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a private gathering. Trump was referring to Cruz’s pledge during the campaign to support the eventual nominee.
Trump and his allies appeared to be insulating themselves from criticism that they had mismanaged their convention's programming by allowing Cruz to take the stage when they knew in advance that he had no intention of endorsing Trump.
Priebus attended the Thursday lunch. So did Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who is Trump’s running mate.
A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the GOP presidential nominee’s remarks.
Cruz was jeered loudly during the end of his speech after he encouraged Republicans to vote their “conscience.” He barely mentioned Trump during his address, angering the mogul’s supporters who chanted at him to endorse the nominee.
Text of Cruz’s address was delivered to party officials only shortly before its delivery, a person familiar with the process said.
At the Thursday lunch, Trump also called criticized former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who skipped the convention and are not backing Trump.
“If I got beaten as bad as Kasich got beaten by me I wouldn’t support him either,” Trump said of Kasich, according to one of the Republicans who attended.
Trump praised Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Texas governor Rick Perry, who voiced support for Trump during their convention remarks. Rubio delivered brief remarks in a pre-recorded video and did not attend.
Trump also took a dig at Mitt Romney, saying that he would work tirelessly unlike last time, where the other guy "disappeared" for the final month.
It's a point Trump often makes, as he urged Romney to be a more omnipresent figure in media in the stretch run of the 2012 campaign -- with appearances on late-night television and other mass-market shows. His advice was rebuffed.